(10 July 2014) – Today the European Commission launches its “Connected Communities” initiative – an umbrella for several systems designed to connect towns, cities, local broadband partnerships and operators to the advice they need to access finance and develop tailored business models for bringing fast broadband to their community.
All parties working at a local, regional and national level are invited to submit their concepts and plans for broadband deployment projects to the European Commission. Requests must be received before 15 October 2014, and the best concepts will receive the Commission’s “seal of approval”, and access to more in-depth support.
The Digital Agenda targets are: 100% of EU households have 30 Mbps broadband and 50% households subscribe to 100 Mbps or more, by 2020. Investment in broadband networks is falling short and the current data shows that 64% of EU households have available 30 Mbps and only 3% have connections of 100 Mbps.
The high-speed broadband development is slow in particular in semi-urban and rural as well as economically disadvantaged areas. Only 18% of European rural households have access to high-speed broadband.