A study ordered by the executive body of the European Union (EU), the European Commission, estimates that to get all 28 member states of the EU to reach 100Mbps broadband speeds for home users, and 1Gbps for public sector and businesses, it’ll cost a total of €502 billion. The study carried out by Analysys Mason included the UK in the figures, even though the country has opted to pull out of the bloc.
The study was designed to support the EU’s ‘Gigabit Society’ initiative, a pledge for all European households to get a minimum line speed of 100Mbps by 2025; businesses and the public sector were told to expect speeds of 1Gbps.
€502 billion is a fair bit of money; the study broke down how it came up with the figure:
- Deployment to large SEDP (social-economic drivers and professionals, such as businesses) - €64bn.
- ‘Macro mobile’ connectivity for population areas - €55bn.
- ‘Small cell mobile’ connectivity for population areas - €119bn.
- Deployment to small SEDPs - €197bn.
- Residential coverage - €249bn.
- Transport links - €104bn.
Those figures do indeed go over the previously stated total of €502bn; this is because the figures assume that there is not sharing of any infrastructure or costs. When you do take into account sharing, the total drops to €502bn.
In the UK, one of the biggest challenges at the moment is bringing people in rural areas up to similar broadband speeds as those in urban areas. The study notes that the rural cost per subscriber in the UK is estimated at €2,200, as opposed to €1,000 per subscriber in urban areas. Despite the figures, the UK is in quite a good place, as rural deployments are second cheapest in the EU. The average cost for rural deployments is around €4,500 per subscriber.
EU countries are still struggling to meet current targets, which aim to ensure that every home in the EU can access a 30Mbps capable superfast broadband connection by 2020.