Satellite helps EU confirm broadband for all target header image

Published: 30th May 2014

Satellite technology has helped the European Union reach its 'broadband for all' target.

Using research from IHS, the European Commission has released its Digital Agenda for Europe Scoreboard for 2013, which confirms a basic broadband connection is now available to everyone in the bloc's member states.

Satellite broadband was highlighted as one of the technologies that has helped the target to be achieved and the figures suggest it is playing a particularly important role in rural areas. 

According to IHS, fixed broadband connectivity in rural parts of the EU now stands at 89.8 per cent of households - it is safe to assume satellite accounts for a sizable proportion of the remaining 10.2 per cent.

The part satellite broadband has played in taking Europe online has previously been highlighted by the European Commission's vice president Neelie Kroes. 

Speaking in October last year, she stated: "Thanks to the extra coverage provided by satellite broadband, we have achieved our 2013 target of broadband for all."

Satellite's contribution has also been praised by Oliver Johnson, the chief executive of broadband research firm Point Topic, who said the technology is now "a real competitor" in the broadband space. 

He added: "Satellite subscription costs are affordable for most, the bandwidth and data caps have improved significantly in the last ten years and you can be up and running comparatively quickly."

The European Commission's scorecard provided a favourable verdict for the UK, showing its level of broadband connectivity is generally above the average for Europe as a whole.

However, the country still has work to do if it is to catch up with some other nations around the world.

Akamai's latest State of the Internet report revealed the UK's broadband is the 13th fastest in the world. With an average speed of 9.4 Mbps, it comes in well behind the likes of South Korea (21.9 Mbps) and Japan (12.8 Mbps).

When compared against other European nations, Akamai said the UK's broadband is the ninth fastest.