How Can The European Broadband Accessibility Gap Be Bridged?

A quick look at the UN’s ICT Development Index, released earlier this year, will show that almost four out of 10 people are likely to have some kind of internet access. It’s a good half of the people, and that means the demand for this service just keeps growing. One thing everyone who is considering investing in a broadband service should do is look into broadband comparison. It’s essential to move together with the world, and having a reliable internet connection is part of that. Although that could be hailed as progress, of the most developed countries in terms of internet access and ICT in general, the top 10 are all developed countries, eight of them in Europe.

Internet

Among the nations figuring in the top ten are the Scandinavian trio of Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. All six are among the richest member states of the European Union and, as a result of their relative wealth, are able to provide almost 100% access to some form of web connection, but that’s not the case elsewhere in the EU.

Eastern promise broken

Further east, many newer members of the European Union are lagging behind to some degree when it comes to broadband access. In many Eastern European countries, access to broadband away from the major cities is restricted for one of two reasons – the cost, which is unaffordable for many governments and the problem of connecting rural areas due to issues like rough terrain.

As revealed by Broadband For All, a campaign launched by the EU to ensure that 100% access is guaranteed across all member states, the two nations with the lowest percentage of broadband availability are Poland and Slovenia, with just 69% and 73% respectively. Not faring much better is Latvia with just 83%, but neighbours like Bulgaria and Romania are far more respectable.

Sky-borne connection

While connecting remote areas of any part of the world with underground or overground cables can be incredibly expensive, almost prohibitively so, there could be a cheaper and more viable way to do it. As suggested by a number of campaigners, satellite broadband may help to provide blanket access for the entire continent, regardless of location or any other potential complications encountered.

Even in countries such as the UK where access reportedly stands at 100%, broadband availability isn’t as widespread as it should be. With satellite broadband, it’s possible to get a reliable connection without it costing the earth or involving extensive engineering works.

Despite being readily available, the goals of the likes of Broadband For All may not be achieved just yet. Whether in remote parts of the UK and Scandinavia or in some of the less affluent parts of the EU, broadband access is a necessity to fuel growth, no matter how it is made possible.

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