Digital agenda: Connecting the EU

  

High-speed Internet for all - including on mobile phones - and lower consumer prices are the main highlights of the European Commission's digital agenda, a five-year plan to ensure higher connectivity for EU citizens and business.

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Overview

 

The Digital Agenda aims to deliver benefits to consumers and businesses based on ultra-fast Internet connections and interoperable applications.

The European Commission's blueprint, unveiled in May 2010, aims to provide broadband Internet access for all citizens by 2013, with access to much higher Internet speeds (30 Mbps or above) for all by 2020. By that time, the Commission hopes at least half of European households will subscribe to Internet connections above 100 Mbps.

To underline the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in boosting EU competitiveness, Neelie Kroes was appointed as a special commissioner dedicated to the 'Digital Agenda' in February 2010.

Below is a summary of the key policy areas of the ambitious five-year plan:

  • Create a new single market to remove all barriers to cross-border trade and licensing, simplify copyright clearance, complete the Single European Payment Area and boost the allocation of spectrum to new services such as mobile applications;
  • Improve ICT standard-setting and interoperability by reviewing the European Interoperability Framework;
  • Improve trust and security to tackle cybercrime, sexual exploitation and review of the data protection framework to protect consumer rights;
  • Increase access to fast Internet and aid the roll-out of fixed and wireless networks;
  • Boost research and innovation by upping the ICT R&D budget by 20% annually;
  • Raise the level of digital literacy by promoting e-skills initiatives, and;
  • Invest in smart technology to reduce energy consumption and help ageing citizens, among others.
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