Brussels, 05 February 2002
A new study from research firm Gartner G2 shows that consumers in the UK, Germany and France, Europe's three largest Internet markets, are being put off high speed broadband Internet connection by high subscription prices.
According to the study, fewer than ten per cent of the households connected to the Internet in these countries think that broadband is good value. Countries with the highest subscription prices, such as the UK, have the lowest number of broadband users. The study, based on a survey of 6,000 households, also highlighted a lack of consumer awareness about what broadband services are available.
Gartner G2 predicts that unless prices drop dramatically from their current average level of between 45 and 60 euro a month, just ten per cent of households in the UK, Germany and France will have broadband Internet access by 2005. The study found that at the end of last year, only 1.9 per cent of households in the three countries had broadband access.
Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen has made broadband Internet connection one of his top priorities for 2002, stating in October last year that 'the future of the Internet is broadband', and that the EU needs a 'forward-looking strategy to ensure that broadband Internet comes quickly to all European citizens.' The encouragement of Internet use by SMEs is one of the main objectives of the Commission's eEurope initiative, launched in 1999 to improve European competitiveness in the field of information and communication technologies.
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