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Broadband: Is the EU Ready?

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Broadband: Is the EU Ready?

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Vivian Redding, the EU’s Telecommunications Commissioner, announced an inquiry into growth of broadband telecommunications and the possibility of making it available to all citizens in the Europe Union by 2010.

With growth of high-speed Internet use on the rise in the EU, it is clear there is a growing demand for this service. Sales data from Internet providers show a steady growth of use in homes at about 20% per year from 2003 to 2007. And with nearly 40% of homes in EU member-nations already possessing high-speed Internet access, before long most citizens will have access.

European Commission (EC) policies on telecommunications state that when a greater part of the citizens are using a communication service, it is required for all to have access to it. With Denmark and Belgium boasting close to 100% of their population able to access the Internet at high speeds, it is hoped that the rest of the European Union will soon be allowed to follow suit.

Ms. Redding identified high-speed net access as an “essential condition to economic growth” (BBC). In light of this, the EC is making this a high priority: “…it is this commission’s policy to make broadband Internet for all Europeans happen by 2010” (ibid.).

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