Court of Auditors Special report n°12/2018: Broadband in the EU Member States: despite progress, not all the Europe 2020 targets will be met
1. This report is an audit on the progress made on the Europe 2020 strategy Digital Agenda (“Digital Agenda for Europe”):
○ 1) by 2013, to bring basic (<30Mbps) broadband to all
○ 2) by 2020, to provide all with fast broadband (>30Mbps)
○ 3) by 2020, to ensure take-up by 50% or more of EU households to ultrafast (>100Mbps) broadband.
2. The report covers the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 EU programme periods plus additional focus on Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Italy.
3. This Explanatory Memorandum consists of a summary of the report and its recommendations with further details of the report. This is followed by a summary of the European Commission’s response to the report and the view of the UK Government.
4. Overall, broadband coverage has generally been improving across the EU, but the Europe 2020 targets will not all be achieved.
5. All member stages except Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania achieved the target of basic broadband for all.
6. The proportion of households with access to superfast broadband increased from 48% in 2011 to 80% in June 2017 - the UK had 95% superfast coverage by the end of 2017, the 7th highest in the EU. However, it is very likely the target of superfast access for all by 2020 will be missed by all but a few Member States.
7. Rural areas remain less well connected than cities - by mid-2017, 14 member states had superfast coverage in rural areas of less than 50%. The UK’s rural superfast coverage is around 82%.
8. Take-up of ultrafast broadband is significantly behind, at 15% against a target of 50%. Only 55% of EU households had access to ultrafast broadband in mid-2017 .