The European Union (EU) has published a new Digital Competitiveness Report (Adobe Reader .PDF), which finds that the EU is home to 114 million fixed broadband subscribers and that half of EU households and more than 80% of EU businesses have a fixed broadband connection. Some three quarters of those also have average download speeds of over 2Mbps (Megabits per second).
Still, despite broadband being available to 93% of the EU25 population (87% in 2005), some 50% of households are still without a connection, with many of those residing in remote and rural areas. Adults over the age of 65 and the unemployed are also the least active online. Never the less, in 2008 some 56% of EU citizens were using the Internet on a regular basis, up from 43% in 2005.
So where does the UK come? We still have one of the most active online economies in Europe, not to mention 99.8% coverage of broadband services (includes slower 'up to' 512Kbps [0.5Mbps] services) and a 62% take-up. We rank 6th in EU Broadband Penetration and when all factors are included our overall showing is strong in 4th place.
However UK broadband performance (speed) remains somewhat poor, placing us a lowly 15th overall, mostly because of a poor average broadband speed (reported as 4.1Mbps by Ofcom in April 2009).
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