More than 250 Million Europeans Regularly Use Internet, Says Commission's ICT Progress Report

More than half of Europeans are now regular Internet users, 80% of them have broadband connections and 60% of public services in the EU are fully available online. These are the findings of a Commission report on the results achieved so far with i2010, the EU's digital-led strategy for growth and jobs. 77% of EU businesses, 67% of schools and 48% of doctors are now benefiting from fast broadband connections. In 2007, the Internet attracted nearly 40 million new regular users in the EU (now 250 million in total). However, some parts of the EU are still lagging behind and are not fully connected. Nearly 40% of Europeans do not use the Internet at all, This ranges from 69% (Romania), 65% (Bulgaria) and 62% (Greece), to 13% (Denmark, The Netherlands). To encourage use of new online technologies, the Commission will publish a Guide to EU Users' Digital Rights and Obligations later in 2008. While in some countries – Austria, Czech Republic, Malta, Portugal – 100% of basic public services for businesses can be fully transacted online, others lag behind (Bulgaria, 15%, Poland, 25%, Latvia, 30%). In May, the Commission will therefore launch large-scale projects to support pan-European public services like the cross-border operation of electronic identity or electronic signatures.

The full report can be found: