Published: 16th Jul 2013
Basic broadband is now available virtually everywhere in Europe thanks to satellite methods helping to cover the 4.5 per cent of the population not covered by fixed broadband, according to the European Commission's annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard.
It is now focused on getting better take-up of satellite to bridge the remaining gaps dotted around the continent.
Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission said: "I am glad that basic internet is now virtually everywhere in the European Union (EU), but we can't get stuck playing yesterday's game.
"The data shows that the biggest problem this year is the lack of investment in very fast networks and a continuing lack of a real telecoms single market."
The study found more people have tried the internet than ever before, with the proportion of EU citizens who have never been online in steady decline - down two percentage points to 22 per cent.
Seven in ten people are now using the web at least once a week, which is a rise from 67 per cent last year. Encouragingly, 54 per cent of disadvantaged people use the internet regularly, up from 51 per cent last year.
However, around 100 million EU citizens have still never been online declaring it costs too much or they lack the skills to use it.
Some of these people who do not use the internet would not be able to do so even if they tried as they do not have access to fixed broadband. While the situation is improving, there are still individuals who cannot get online, but fortunately there is a solution.
Using satellite broadband allows people to get reliably connected to the web from all locations so even those in rural areas will be able to get online.
The findings from the European Commission also revealed internet access is increasingly going mobile, with people going online using tablet or smartphone devices. These platforms can also connect to the internet using satellite broadband so nobody will miss out.
Posted by Craig Roberts
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