A Eurostat report has shown that although the internet is used at least once a week by half the EU’s citizens, broadband access is low in many member states.
The widespread introduction of broadband at affordable prices is one of the chief objectives of the EU’s e-Europe 2005 action plan. The Eurostat report highlights wide discrepancies between different member states’ use of the internet, particularly with regards to the levels of broadband penetration.
The report found that:
- More than 75% of households in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden have internet access, in contrast with Greece, Slovakia and Hungary, which have less than 32% connection;
- in the EU as a whole, 32% of households have a broadband connection (up from 23% in 2005), but member states such as Greece (4%), Slovakia (11%), Cyprus (12%) and Ireland (13%) are lagging far behind;
- more than 94% of enterprises with ten people employed had access to the internet (91% in 2005) and 75% had a broadband connection (63% in 2005)
- men (51%) were found to use the internet more regularly than women (43%) in the EU-25, and;
- finally, while nearly three quarters of individuals aged 16-24, and more than half of those aged 25-54 use the internet regularly, only a fifth of those aged 55-74 did so.