Broadband infrastructure: Supporting the digital economy in the European Union

01-09-2015

Broadband refers to internet connections capable of delivering information at fast speeds, using a variety of different wireline or wireless technologies. Fast access is important to the development of a digital economy in the European Union: economists believe that broadband deployment increases employment and spurs economic growth. Basic broadband is available to virtually all citizens in the European Union, but progress still needs to be made in coverage and take-up of fast and ultra-fast broadband if the EU's targets are to be met by 2020. Policy-makers can influence broadband deployment through a wide range of policies, including targets and digital policies, telecommunications regulations and state aid rules. Alongside efforts of authorities in Member States, EU public funding can also be provided to support building broadband infrastructure in areas, such as rural communities, where the population density may not be great enough to justify private investment alone.

Broadband refers to internet connections capable of delivering information at fast speeds, using a variety of different wireline or wireless technologies. Fast access is important to the development of a digital economy in the European Union: economists believe that broadband deployment increases employment and spurs economic growth. Basic broadband is available to virtually all citizens in the European Union, but progress still needs to be made in coverage and take-up of fast and ultra-fast broadband if the EU's targets are to be met by 2020. Policy-makers can influence broadband deployment through a wide range of policies, including targets and digital policies, telecommunications regulations and state aid rules. Alongside efforts of authorities in Member States, EU public funding can also be provided to support building broadband infrastructure in areas, such as rural communities, where the population density may not be great enough to justify private investment alone.