The European Commission's Digital Agenda target of hooking up every home and business with a broadband connection of at least 30 Mbit/s by 2020 looks doomed, according to research house Point Topic.
The EC set the target for the European Union's 28 member countries in 2010, but not all the pieces of the puzzle have come together, states Point Topic Ltd. CEO Oliver Johnson. (See Europe's Broadband Challenge and Europe's 'Digital Oxygen'.)
"The inconvenient truth is that Europe is on track to miss its Digital Agenda target for 30Mbit/s broadband for every home and business, with some countries missing more than others," he tells Light Reading. "The policy makers and the rest of Europe need to face up to this and face up to what they need to do about it. And as usual, it is the rural areas that will suffer the most," notes Johnson, who has published a blog and interactive map that shows the extent to which each country is likely to miss the target.
"Unless Europe recognizes the deficit -- which is becoming more and more obvious by the day -- and puts together a funded action plan, then the target will be missed and Europe will be disadvantaged against the rest of the world," adds Johnson.
One item that policymakers need to add to their "to do" list right now is to re-engage with the region's many satellite broadband service providers, which can play an important role in reaching rural and remote areas across Europe. The satellite players have not been ignored, notes Johnson, "but they certainly feel marginalized. And there is an assumption that they can deliver 30Mbit/s broadband as part of their business strategies and play a role in meeting the Digital Agenda target. But there is a disconnect between the EC's assumptions and what the satellite players feel they can deliver in terms of viable commercial services," notes the Point Topic man.
See Point Topic's interactive map to check out which countries are going to come closest to meeting the 2020 target and which look set to be a long way off.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading