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Basic Broadband Now Universally Available Across Europe

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
As per an EC press release, Europe has achieved 100% coverage as far as basic broadband goes. “Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, today welcomed the milestone achievement of one of the main goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe: “My motto is Every European Digital – now every European genuinely has the opportunity. We have more to do to improve networks and equalise the opportunity, but the opportunity is there.” “Thanks to the extra coverage provided by satellite broadband, we have achieved our 2013 target of broadband for all. That’s a great result for European citizens. How we got to 100 % coverage? Fixed (ADSL, VDSL, cable, fibre, copper) 96.1% Mobile (2G, 3G, 4G) 99.4% Satellite 100% By the end of 2012, 99.4% of EU household had access to basic fixed or mobile broadband coverage; including 96.1% of households in rural areas. But the final 0.6% (or roughly 3 million citizens) included many families and businesses in isolated or rural areas where fixed or mobile broadband rollout is more cumbersome and expensive.” Going further, “The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), has set a goal to make every European digital and ensure Europe’s competitiveness in the 21st century. Essential to this goal is fast connectivity and the DAE broadband targets: basic broadband for all by 2013;[achieved] Next Generation Networks (NGN) (30 Mbps or more) for all by 2020; 50% of households having 100 Mbps subscriptions or higher”  It is true that public funding has played a major role in these achievements but it is noteworthy that the same is subject to careful ex ante scrutiny to avoid market distortions that can harm the sector in the long run. I am of the opinion that India has a lot to learn from the EU’s regulations in this regard.