Thursday, August 24, 2006

Broadband Reaches Nearly One in Four EU households

Almost one in four EU households is now connected to the internet via high-speed "broadband" links, according to an EU-wide survey conducted by the European Commission.

Some key findings include:

  • Broadband's popularity grows with household size -- only 12% of single households have it, compared with 34% of those with four members or more.

  • Of those households that have only "narrowband" internet connections, 40% do not wish to upgrade, either because they are satisfied with the speed of their dial-up connection or because they do not use the Internet enough to justify the higher cost of broadband.

  • The average proportion of single households with only a mobile phone (i.e. no fixed line) climbs to 58% for the 15-29 years age group and falls to 6% only for persons aged 60 years old and over

  • Among the benefits of mobile phones, the ability to be contacted at any place, any time is valued more highly (34% of replies) than the freedom to make calls (19%).

  • Only 15% of households use public payphones, the main reason being when the mobile phone is out of credit, out of battery or out of range.

  • 82% of households equipped with an Internet connection have anti-virus software, but only 58% have anti-spam software.

  • In the EU 25 overall, more than one in three respondents were able to cite 112 as the single emergency number to call from any location in the EU against one in five as measured five years ago.

  • Almost all EU households (97%) have access to voice telephony services, 61% have both fixed and mobile phones and 18% have only mobiles.

"I see these figures -- in particular the fact that so many people are satisfied to stay with slow speed internet access -- as a challenge to operators and service providers to develop more attractive broadband offers both in terms of content and in terms of price," stated Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.

proportion of

EU households

Overall telephone access

(fixed and/or mobile)


Mobile telephone access


Fixed telephone access


Both fixed and mobile telephone access


Mobile but no fixed telephone access


Fixed but no mobile telephone access


Broadband Internet access


DSL access


Cable-modem access










Source: European Commission

See also