Thursday, 27 October 2011

EU Digital Agenda: broadband trends

Yesterday we looked at some basic economic facts and market trends in the European ICT sector, available at the time the Digital Agenda was launched.

We return to the Commission staff working document SEC(2010) 630 final/2, which accompanied the 15th progress report about telecoms (eCommunications) markets in Europe:

CORRIGENDUM
Annule et remplace le document SEC(2010) 630 final du 25.5.2010


COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT accompanying the COMMUNICATION PROGRESS REPORT ON THE SINGLE EUROPEAN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS MARKET (15th REPORT); Brussels, 25.8.2010 SEC(2010) 630 final/2 PART 1 (422 pages)

Here are a few market trends I found interesting enough to share with you.


BRICS

Europeans generally and the movers and 'brakers' of European integration need to adapt the EU to a globalising world, with some countries (BRICS) not only emerging, but practically bursting unto the scene. Here a quote regarding broadband uptake (page 23):

Growth rates in developing countries (India 62%, China 23%, Russia 39%, Brazil 23%, Mexico 54%) outpaced the levels of developed countries, clearly from much lower levels of penetration. Many EU operators have been very active in these growing markets.

Europe did not necessarily offer the best deal for SMEs and consumers (page 23):

In October 2009 broadband standalone access at 100 Mbps was available at around 30 euros per month in Japan and 20 euros in Korea. These prices are between 20 and 50% lower than prices for similar products in those EU countries where these are available.


Broadband speed

With regard to broadband speed the trend was clear (page 27):

Low speed broadband lines with download rates between 144 Kbps and 2 Mbps only represent 15% of all fixed broadband lines in January 2010, down from 25% in 2009, while the fastest category of lines (10 Mbps and above) has increased its share, from 14% in January 2009 to 23% of all fixed broadband lines in January 2010.


State aid

The working paper referred to the guidelines adopted by the Commission on 17 September 2009 which outline how public funding can be provided for broadband in line with EU state aid rules (page 32-33):

In 2009 the European Commission took 12 decisions regarding broadband projects involving public funding. 11 of these were found to be compatible with the Treaty (article 4(3) decision types), while one was not considered aid but rather a Service of General Economic Interest.

The total amount of the aid approved was €467 million.

Since then the European Commission had advanced to 83 decisions by 28 July 2011. The Commission DG Competition (see Telecommunications) is now digesting the responses to the public consultation regarding the revision of the State aid Broadband Guidelines.



Ralf Grahn


P.S. Dear Readers, I am still interested in Digital Agendas (language versions), as well as information society plans and ICT actions in the member states of the European Union. If you know something about national information society strategies, you can use the comment section or email me.