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Europe aims for universal broadband by 2010

updated 09:10 am EDT, Fri September 26, 2008

EU Universal Broadband

The European Commission today outlined a goal for all European Union member states to have access to high-speed Internet access by 2010. Calling broadband an "essential condition" for a good economy, Commissioner Viviane Reding likens fast Internet access to a basic utility and explains that certain countries are at an inherent disadvantage due to the absence of at least some form of broadband coverage in some areas. Only 40 percent of Romanians have the option of access faster than dial-up, the official mentions in one example.

The problem is particularly acute in rural areas, where Internet providers either can't or don't extend their better networks. Well-developed countries such as Germany and Italy still see 12 and 18 percent of their respective rural populations go without the choice, according to the Commission.

EC measures have reportedly already streamlined launching technology that would help make broadband access more feasible in these areas, including an EU-wide approval system for satellite Internet service as well as a proposed option to use former analog TV signals for wide-area wireless Internet instead of digital TV. The Commission says, however, that it may consider a universal requirement to provide coverage if no clear sign exists that these and other measures are likely to supply access to some areas and users.

Such a plan might also involve a "safety net" where landline phone service and Internet access are provided to the less fortunate.

A mandate would be one of the first worldwide and would reinforce the continent's position as one of the quicker broadband access adopters. Eight EU countries are currently adding high-speed Internet coverage at a rate faster than the US, where no definitive plans for rural expansion have been made and where most customers have access to only one or two providers versus the multiple options available in some European nations.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Yah, more socialism

    less free markets. Just like America.

  1. macvette

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004


    Fiber to the farm?

    Internet providers only offer service where they can make money. Installing thousands of dollars (or Euros) worth of equipment to service just a few households doesn't make any business sense.

    Who knows... do these rural residents even want internet service??? Are they computer literate?

  1. jmelrose

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Mar 1999



    Dracula with broadband = scary indeed!

    The thrall may spread worldwide via youtube! Fair maidens everywhere beware!!!

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003


    right wing

    I can't imagine America being more right wing. In a few years, we will have fewer rights than they had in n*** Germany all in the name of being more conservative.

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