Better high-speed internet access needed to revitalise Europe's rural regions, says Commission
Connecting the 30% of the EU's rural population that has no high speed internet access should be a priority for achieving 'broadband for all' by 2010, the Commission said today. Improved internet connectivity is a powerful tool to stimulate swift economic recovery. The Commission today outlines how it would use its own support programmes to boost internet networks and services in rural areas, and called on EU Member States to do the same. Good internet access can make farms and companies in rural areas, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), less isolated and more competitive through access to international markets and faster and more efficient ways of doing business. Meanwhile, the European Parliament and the Council are discussing a Commission proposal to make a further € 1 billion available through the European Economic Recovery Plan to spread high speed internet access more widely across all regions of Europe.