European homes now have 100 percent broadband coverage

Satellite-based Internet access has reached the last 0.6 percent of homes that copper wires and mobile networks didn't, the European Commission announces.

Eutelsat's KA-SAT is one way European homes and businesses can get Net access.
Eutelsat's KA-SAT is one way European homes and businesses can get Net access. Eutelsat

Every citizen in the European Union now has broadband Internet access at home, a goal the European Commission said it reached before its year-end deadline.

Pushing the needle all the way to 100 percent is satellite-based Internet access, which reached the 0.6 percent of homes that wired connections and mobile networks couldn't reach, the EC announced Thursday. DSL, cable TV, and fiber-optic lines reach 96.1 percent, and mobile networks reach 99.4 percent.

"For those in the most isolated areas, satellite is a good option to stay connected, and it's likely to remain so," Neelie Kroes, the European Commission vice president in charge of the region's digital agenda, said in a statement.

Basic satellite services can be found for about $13 a month, with faster 20Mbps service costing about $33 a month. A total of 148 satellites provide the actual service, the EC said.

The EC is also working on speeding up broadband. It has two goals: download rates of at least 30Mbps for all citizens by 2020, and download rates of at least 100Mbps at half of European homes.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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