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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Every other European digital"? New scorecard data out

The EC has made a classic centralised targeting mistake - it wants every European to be able to access 2Mbps broadband by 2013. Only one answer in that time - the highly expensive and for most unaffordable satellite broadband (unless taxpayer subsidised). But when did that stop MEPs proclaiming this "pan-European solution"? Idiotic nonsense. Avantiare trialling 3G/wireless backhaul using satellite which might work in those very few isolated communities. Otherwise, it's a waste of money to hit a short-term target.
Why so silly? Because actually 65% of Europeans use the Internet, and the process of getting the final seven in twenty online is a slow process, made up of:
[1] the aging of the computer literate to 'replace' today's over-55 refuseniks, a bigger Euro than US problem;
[2] both computer - i.e. web - literacy and genuine literacy targets - about 1 in 5 people is functionally illiterate - they correlate with 'readers' (picture viewers) of The Sun/Star in the UK;
[3] price, price, price - if broadband was unthrottled Skype at €10/month, more people would substitute it for their 19th century copper phone line and save money just on the connection.
Bill Kennard made some good points about the correlation of race and broadband - it's because immigrants are poor and poorly educated, not that they don't need and want the Internet.
But today was a rural broadband satellite snoozefest...there's a lot of data released today that may be more sensible, and has a glass-half-empty graphic to show the failure to get high speeds or wide coverage:

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