Saturday, February 09, 2008

Greece - broadband

Greece unveils broadband plans

Greece unveils broadband plansThe Greek government will reportedly spend three billion euros (£2.24 billion) on investing in broadband to catch up with other European Union (EU) countries in the technology stakes by 2013.

Bloomberg reports that around 2.5 billion euros will go towards developing a fibre-optic network to bring broadband access to two million homes.

The country has lagged behind the rest of the EU in broadband usage, it says, with figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showing that broadband penetration has increased from 0.1 per cent in 2003 to 7.1 per cent in 2007.

This is below the average for OECD member countries - which is 25.9 per cent - and also trails new EU members like Poland and Hungary.

In 2006, Greece was behind Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Croatia and Egypt in making government services available online.

Quoting a speech by Greece's transportation and communications minister, Costis Hatsidakis, the website says the government will pay for the plans through its own exchequer, EU funding and contributions from the private sector.

Mr Hatsidakis added that the new technology would bring improved "innovation, competitiveness, growth [and] quality of life" to Greece.

Greece, which has a population of 11.1 million, joined the EU's forerunner, the European Economic Community, in 1961.

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