The EU recently published the results of DESI 2018. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.
Particularly interesting is the Connectivity Report, which demonstrates progress made toward high-speed internet access across the whole EU region.
A few key points noted were:
- NGA coverage reached 80%, but only 47% of rural areas have this access.
- Only 68% of rural homes in the EU have a fixed broadband subscription.
- 15% of homes have Ultrafast broadband (100Mbps+) products. The Digital Agenda for Europe set the objective that at least 50 % of homes should subscribe to ultrafast broadband by 2020. In June 2017, 58% of homes were covered by networks capable of providing 100 Mbps. As service offers are emerging, take-up is growing sharply. The penetration is the highest in Sweden, Romania and Belgium with over 40% of homes subscribing to at least 100 Mbps. In Greece, Cyprus and Croatia take-up is very low.
- 16 % of European businesses consider that the speed of their fixed connection is not sufficient for the current needs of the company. Germany, France, Croatia and the UK are the countries where this perception is the highest. Bulgarian, Latvian, Bulgarian, Latvian and Estonian companies are the most satisfied with the speed of their broadband connection. Those with the lowest satisfaction rates all have relatively low coverage of FTTP. Large companies are generally better served than small ones, though this may be due to being able to pay a premium to receive best-in-class services.
- Although DSL is still the most widely used fixed broadband technology, its market share declined from 80 % in 2009 to 64% in 2016.
- Market shares of incumbents show large differences across Europe. In 7 out of the 28 Member States, at least half of the subscriptions are provided by incumbent operators. This makes it very difficult for smaller companies, or new technologies, to be successful.