Broadband access in the 27 countries that make up the European Union (EU) is nearly at 100%, however analysts say the region must do more to connect rural households to high-speed services.
Research conducted by Point Topic for the EU reveals 99.9% of households had access to standard fixed and mobile broadband services at end-2012, and 95.4% could utilize at least one fixed network.
Access to next generation broadband services – those offering data rates of 30-Mbps or over – stood at 53.7% of households in the region, however the research firm claims extending that access to rural homes remains a key challenge in achieving EU goals for high-speed access. Point Topic classes 31 million households in the region as rural, and states 3.8 million had access to next generation services by end-2012.
DSL remains the largest fixed broadband technology, covering 92.9% of EU homes. Standard cable penetration hit 42% of households by end-2012, LTE 27%, and Wimax 17%.
Point Topic’s research was conducted as part of a regular European Commission report on broadband coverage in the region, which tracks progress towards the goals set out in the Digital Agenda.
The latest report shows the EU is halfway towards its target of offering 30-Mbps broadband access to all citizens by 2020, and has achieved its goal of ubiquitous access to basic broadband services by 2013.