Making access to universal broadband in Europe a reality

Broadband technology is the foundation of the digital economy. It has revolutionised the way Europeans work, shop, study and communicate.  In the Digital Agenda, the European Commission has set an ambitious goal to ensure universal access to broadband in Europe by 2020. As the voice of the digital industry in Europe, we fully support this initiative.

The benefits of broadband

Studies show that universal access to broadband in Europe would have strong positive effects on economic growth and job creation.

  • A World Bank analysis concluded that every 10% increase in broadband penetration adds around 1.3% to GDP growth.[1]

  • A study by the American Brookings Institution showed that that for every 1% increase in broadband penetration, employment increases by 0.2% to 0.3% per year.[2]
  • There is wide agreement that broadband access is also likely to stimulate innovative new digital services and applications.

In addition to these benefits, universal broadband provides consumers with improved access to information, entertainment and public services.

Realising Europe’s broadband ambitions

Universal broadband access is a bold step in the right direction for Europe. To realise this goal, the EU needs to stimulate and support investment in broadband infrastructure, with instruments such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The CEF encourages private and public investment by lowering risks and facilitating infrastructure projects. Such programmes are needed alongside industry investment and will enable digital companies to realise Europe’s broadband ambitions.  

Advocacy in action

We regularly meet with European policymakers and officials to discuss the important benefits that broadband technology offers to Europe’s economy and consumers. We will continue to work with EU leaders until broadband is accessible to all Europeans.

[1] Information and Communication for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact; World Bank (2009).
[2] The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: A Cross-sectional Analysis of U.S. Data; Robert Crandall, William Lehr and Robert Litan; The Brookings Institution (2007).