Europe on Track to Achieve Digital Agenda Objectives

  • IDATE Digiworld
MONTPELLIER, FRANCE — The largest countries in Europe are on track to achieve Digital Agenda objectives, according to IDATE Digiworld coverage figures for Europe at the end of 2015. The reports presents a benchmark of the rate of progress in each European country.

In its roadmap for the Digital Agenda, Europe has set out three main coverage and take-up targets for Internet access.

  • 100 percent broadband coverage for European households reached in 2013, taking into account the use of fixed, mobile and satellite solutions.

  • 100 percent superfast coverage (i.e., 30 Mbps and up) in all European countries, although some are still far from having achieved this.

  • 50 percent of homes passed must have access to a more than 100 Mbps connection.

"For the first time, and drawing on our own databases as well as information collected from regulators and telcos, we are able to estimate ultrafast access (i.e. above 100 Mbps) rollouts, shipments and sales in Europe,’ reports Dominique Meunier, head of IDATE DigiWorld’s Telecoms division."

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The situation varies dramatically from country to country, to say the least, and the objectives set by Europe will be hard for some countries to achieve without a major policy push.

The most advanced countries benefit from favorable geographical features, a strong cable footprint and less ambitious technical choices. Belgium, for instance, combines vast and dense cable systems that have been upgraded to the latest Docsis technologies (>100 0bMps) and the top carrier’s choice to upgrade its legacy copper network to VDSL (>30 Mbps). Another example is Lithuania which has opted for a massive investment in a new fiber network, doing away with its obsolete copper system.

On the whole, the largest countries in Europe are on track to achieve the Digital Agenda objectives. France, however, has set itself ambitious targets for fiber rollouts, its cable networks have a relatively small footprint and the planned investments from government bodies, which were to cover over 50% of total rollout costs, have resulted in only very gradual deployments. Lagging behind the other major countries of Europe, such the UK and Germany which were quick to roll out VDSL (>30 Mbps) access products and boast widespread cable coverage, and even Spain (cable +FTTH), France is ahead only of Italy and Greece and will need to accelerate the pace of FTTH access line shipments to make up for lost time.

Lastly, the report reveals that, once ultrafast access networks are in place, customers are eager to sign up. We have therefore noted a much higher take-up rate in those areas where ultrafast access is widely available.


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