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Parliamentary questions
PDF 103kWORD 18k
6 June 2018
Question for written answer E-003071-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Deirdre Clune (PPE)

 Subject:  Broadband coverage in rural areas
 Answer in writing 

According to a recent report by the European Court of Auditors, it appears that the Europe 2020 targets regarding broadband coverage across all Member States are unlikely to be achieved. This is partly owing to the fact that a discrepancy still exists between coverage in urban areas and in rural areas.

In Ireland, the overall broadband coverage in the country is 97%, whereas it stands at only 94% in rural areas.

Coverage in rural areas is necessary for ensuring high-quality education and social and economic inclusion. Without the proper infrastructure in place, rural areas are left at risk of falling behind in the digital era.

One observation that has been made is that for private investors, and specifically the telecommunications sector, rural areas appear to be less lucrative and therefore a less attractive investment. Without the commitment to invest in rural areas, we can already see the effects of the ‘digital divide’ within Member States, leading to two tiers of social and economic activity.

Is the EU committed to putting in place a secure public funding framework for intervention where such market failure occurs?

Last updated: 19 June 2018Legal notice