By: MarkJ - 14 October, 2010 (7:51 AM)
europe mapThe European Commission (EC) has revealed, in its latest survey of 27,000 households throughout the EU, that 43% still do not have Internet access. Approximately one in five claimed that this was due to the high costs of the internet. The EU's current Digital Agenda promises to bring basic broadband to all Europeans by 2013 and superfast 30Mbps to 100Mbps services by 2020.

Separately, those who did have net access referenced similar concerns with cost, quality of service, security and online freedom. One fifth claimed to have experienced problems with blocked content and applications. It should be noted that many of those non-connected at home state that they are simply not interested in the Internet.

eu 2010 broadband access map
Packages

Of the households questioned, 38% subscribe to a package with two or more services. Digital terrestrial TV is received by nearly one quarter of EU households surveyed, a similar level to satellite TV.

Cost and quality concerns

According to the survey, 61% of EU mobile phone users and 49% of landline subscribers limit their calls because of cost concerns. In households with broadband connections, 30% say that the download speed does not remain constant, 36% experience connection breakdowns and 24% say that performance does not match contract conditions.

Internet trust and security

84% of households would want to be notified if their personal data was lost, stolen or altered. 45% are worried about their personal data being misused on social networking sites. Those under 24 years old are less worried about this than the over 40s.

Access blocked

21% of the European households with internet access surveyed considered that their access to certain online content and applications has been blocked by their internet provider. This is also mentioned by an equivalent proportion of mobile internet users, but around one third attribute this to the limited capacity of their phone or their phone subscription.

Additional survey findings

Some 35% of EU citizens use a social networking site; this is true both for countries with high (e.g. The Netherlands) and low (e.g. Latvia) internet take-up. 22% of households with internet access use their computer to make voice calls over the internet. Households in the 12 newer Member States are twice as likely to do this as those in the other 15 Member States.

98% of EU households have access to a telephone and an increasing proportion of households (87%) have access to a mobile phone. Only 11% have fixed-line access only. 25% use only a mobile phone and have no fixed phone line.

98% of EU households have television but only 30% use transmission via a cable network, while 23% use digital TV, an increase of 11% compared to 2007.
The majority of Internet users are not considering switching ISP in the short-term; among households with an Internet connection, some 59% have not considered migrating. The lack of competing offers in the local area is not perceived as an obstacle (4%).

The ADSL technology continues to dominate broadband Internet connections, with 62% home consumers using this type net access. One in seven respondents (15%) use the cable TV ( Cable Modem / DOCSIS ) network and Mobile Broadband came next on 5%, followed by Satellite with 2%.

Access via new fibre optic lines is relatively low overall (1%); however, it is relatively high in Romania and Bulgaria, with 16% and 12% connecting this way.
The full survey can be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/library/ext_studies/index_en.htm

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