Brussels, 25 August 2006
Almost one in four EU households is now connected to the internet via high-speed “broadband” links. Broadband’s popularity grows with household size – only 12% of single households have it, compared with 34% of those with four members or more. And, of those households that have only “narrowband” internet connections, 40% do not wish to upgrade, either because they are satisfied with the speed of their dial-up connection or because they do not use the internet enough to justify the higher cost of broadband. So says an EU-wide survey of 25,000 representative households, conducted between 7 December 2005 and 11 January 2006. The survey findings are summarized in a special Eurobarometer report published today as a contribution to the ongoing public debate on the review of the EU’s regulatory framework for electronic communications of 2002 (see IP/06/874).
“This survey provides useful insights into consumer behaviour in today’s constantly-evolving communication services market”, noted Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “I see these figures – in particular the fact that so many people are satisfied to stay with slow speed internet access – as a challenge to operators and service providers to develop more attractive broadband offers both in terms of content and in terms of price, and I will do my part to ensure that enhanced competition will promote such a development. I am pleased about the greater public awareness of the EU-wide emergency number '112', but I urge Member States to continue their efforts to publicise this number among EU citizens.”
To gather the data made public today, about 1000 face-to-face interviews per country were conducted between 7 December 2005 and 11 January 2006 in households in the 25 EU Member States. The respondents, aged 15 years and over, are representative of the total population, based on the sampling methodology defined as part of the standard Eurobarometer survey.
Key findings of the household survey
Penetration rates for key electronic communication services :
The household survey is made public today together with three studies conducted for the Commission in the context of the Review 2006 of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications. See IP/06/1123.