Public policies for UFB


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Benchmarking 7 countries in relation to the Digital Agenda for Europe

This report explores ultra-fast broadband rollouts carried out as part of national government-backed plans, by taking a detailed look at the situation today in seven countries: France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The report consists of two parts:

Monographs of each country, which include a description of the current situation (demographics, technologies used), background on national programmes, details on the current programme (targets, regulatory measures, funding), the technologies being deployed, network governance and monitoring tools. 

A synthesis that delivers: 

  • an analysis of the current status of national programmes in relation to the objectives set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe;
  • an analysis of the progress being made in coverage rates;
  • a description of the different monitoring and supervisory mechanisms in place for each national programme

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

2. Methodology & definitions
2.1. General methodology of IDATE's reports
2.2. Background and methodology specific to this report
2.2.1. Background
2.2.2. Report objective
2.2.3. Geographical scope
2.2.4. Resources employed

3. France
3.1. Background
3.1.1. A population density below the European average
3.1.2. Optimal broadband coverage, but below the European average when it comes to SFB
3.2. Pioneer public initiatives and the national superfast broadband programme (2010 – 2013)
3.3. Details on the current programme: Plan France Très Haut Débit
3.3.1. Regional digital development targets
3.3.2. Regulatory measures
3.3.3. Measures contained in the national programme
3.4. Technologies employed
3.5. Programme governance
3.6. Monitoring system

4. Germany
4.1. Background
4.1.1. Higher population density than the European average
4.1.2. SFB coverage above the European average
4.2. First programme in 2009 (Breitbandstrategy der Bundesregierung)
4.3. Details on the current programme (Digital Agenda 2014 – 2017)
4.3.1. Regional digital development targets
4.3.2. Regulatory measures
4.3.3. Measures contained in the national programme
4.3.4. Digitale Strategie 2025
4.4. Technologies employed
4.5. Programme governance
4.6. Monitoring system

5. Italy
5.1. Background
5.1.1. One of the highest population densities in Europe
5.1.2. Lagging behind in SFB coverage
5.2. National broadband plan (2009-2011)
5.3. Superfast strategic plan (2013-2015)
5.4. Details on the current programme (Nuova strategia BUL)
5.4.1. Regional digital development targets
5.4.2. Regulatory measures
5.4.3. Measures contained in the national programme
5.5. Technologies employed
5.6. Programme governance
5.7. Monitoring system

6. Portugal
6.1. Background
6.1.1. Contrasting situations between densely populated coastal areas and more sparsely populated areas in the interior
6.1.2. More than nine out of ten households eligible for SFB
6.2. The POSC (Programa Operacional da Sociedade do Conhecimento) kicked off back in 2006
6.3. Details on the current programme (Agenda Portugal Digital)
6.3.1. Regional digital development targets
6.3.2. Regulatory measures
6.3.3. Measures contained in the national programme
6.4. Technologies employed
6.5. Programme governance
6.6. Monitoring system

7. Spain
7.1. Background
7.1.1. Very disparate regional densities
7.1.2. Catching up on BB/SFB coverage and take-up, despite regional disparities
7.2. Description of the current programme: the Digital Agenda for Spain
7.2.1. Regional digital development targets
7.2.2. Regulatory measures
7.2.3. Financing measures
7.3. Technologies employed
7.4. Programme governance
7.5. Monitoring system

8. Sweden
8.1. Background
8.1.1. A country of singular features
8.1.2. Strong performance in both coverage and take-up
8.2. Details on the current programme (Broadband Strategy for Sweden)
8.2.1. Regional digital development targets
8.2.2. Regulatory measures
8.2.3. Financing measures
8.3. Technologies employed
8.4. Programme governance
8.5. Monitoring system

9. The United Kingdom
9.1. Background
9.1.1. Demographic features
9.1.2. Coverage and take-up: UK one of Europe's leaders
9.2. Description of the current programme: Britain's Superfast Broadband Future
9.2.1. Regional digital development targets
9.2.2. Regulatory measures
9.2.3. Financing measures
9.3. Technologies employed
9.4. Programme governance
9.5. Monitoring system

10. Synthesis
10.1. Objectives in sync with the Digital Agenda for Europe
10.2. Disparate national coverage levels
10.2.1. By and large, the national programme's start date has little impact on results
10.2.2. More or less beneficial demographics
10.2.3. FTTH: strong commitments
10.2.4. Private sector investments very influential on outcome
10.3. National plans: the same basic measures but different outcomes
10.3.1. Regulation: the foundation of national plans
10.3.2. Direct aid to operators to accelerate rollouts
10.3.3. Financial support: a combination of federal funding and other forms of subsidy

Table 1: Status of broadband/superfast broadband coverage in Europe, in June 2015
Table 2: Country acronyms
Table 3: Country rankings by population
Table 4: Country rankings by population density
Table 5: Dominant BB/SFB access technology in each country
Table 6: A selection of demographic indicators for France
Table 7: BB and SFB coverage rates: France versus the EU-28 average
Table 8: Type of technologies deployed in France (with possible overlaps)
Table 9: Rollout status and subscriber numbers in France by technology
Table 10: A selection of demographic indicators for Germany
Table 11: BB and SFB coverage rates: Germany versus the EU-28 average
Table 12: Type of technologies deployed in Germany (with possible overlaps)
Table 13: Rollout status and subscriber numbers by technology in Germany
Table 14: A selection of demographic indicators for Italy
Table 15: BB and SFB coverage rates: Italy versus the EU-28 average
Table 16: Type of technologies deployed in Italy (with possible overlaps)
Table 17: Rollout status and subscriber numbers by technology in Italy
Table 18: Objectives and deadlines for Italy's SFB strategy (excluding public sites)
Table 19: Features of clusters in 2015
Table 20: Sources of financing mobilised
Table 21: Sources of financing
Table 22: A selection of demographic indicators for Portugal
Table 23: BB and SFB coverage rates: Portugal versus the EU-28 average
Table 24: Type of technologies deployed in Portugal (with possible overlaps)
Table 25: Rollout status and subscriber numbers by technology in Portugal
Table 26: Calls for proposals to cover rural areas in 2009
Table 27: A selection of demographic indicators for Spain
Table 28: BB and SFB coverage rates: Spain versus the EU-28 average
Table 29: Type of technologies deployed in Spain (with possible overlaps)
Table 30: Rollout status and subscriber numbers by technology in Spain
Table 31: Recap of government aid given to SFB network rollouts in Spain from 2013-2016
Table 32: A selection of demographic indicators for Sweden
Table 33: BB and SFB coverage rates: Sweden versus the EU-28 average
Table 34: Type of technologies deployed in Sweden (with possible overlaps)
Table 35: Rollout status and subscriber numbers in Sweden by technology
Table 36: Marking system for ranking subsidy applications for in Sweden
Table 37: A selection of demographic indicators for the UK
Table 38: BB and SFB coverage rates: the UK versus the EU-28 average
Table 39: Type of technologies deployed (with possible overlaps)
Table 40: Type of technologies deployed
Table 41: Targets in national plans in relation to Digital Agenda for Europe objectives
Table 42: Number of households eligible for a 30 Mbps connection thanks to private initiative, in June 2015
Table 43: Number of households eligible for a 100 Mbps connection thanks to private initiative, in June 2015
Table 44: Summary of regulatory measures introduced in the countries being examined
Table 45: Financing models used in the countries being examined
Table 46: Sources of public financing for national programmes
Table 47: Public funding allocated to current national programmes

Figure 1: Cost of achieving Digital Agenda BB/SFB targets (EU-27)
Figure 2: Map of the population density in France
Figure 3: BB and SFB coverage: France versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 4: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: France versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 5: Zoning following the call for expressions of intentions to invest issued in France in 2011
Figure 6: Contracted and non-contracted areas in the Plan France Très Haut Débit launched in 2013
Figure 7: The programme's observatory
Figure 8: Map of population density in Germany
Figure 9: BB and SFB coverage: Germany versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 10: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: Germany versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 11: Subsidies under the national programme
Figure 12: Ten priorities of the Digitale Strategie 2025
Figure 13: Map of the population density in Italy
Figure 14: BB and SFB coverage: Italy versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 15: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: Italy versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 16: Map of cluster properties in 2015
Figure 17: Atlas of government-supported projects in Italy
Figure 18: Map of the population density in Portugal
Figure 19: BB and SFB coverage: Portugal versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 20: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: Portugal versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 21: Map of selected projects in Portugal in 2007
Figure 22: Rural areas in Portugal that received public funding
Figure 23: Map of the population density in Spain
Figure 24: BB and SFB coverage: Spain versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 25: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: Spain versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 26: The Spanish government's digital strategy: nine action plans
Figure 27: Rollout objectives of Spain's SFB rollout plan
Figure 28: A global governance model for the nine action plans that make up the Digital Agenda for Spain
Figure 29: Spain: monitoring system map of coverage levels in Spain
Figure 30: Map of the population density in Sweden
Figure 31: BB and SFB coverage: Sweden versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 32: Percentage of high-speed access lines that are SFB lines: Sweden versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 33: Bredbandskarten: Sweden's broadband and superfast broadband observatory
Figure 34: Map of the population density in the UK
Figure 35: BB and SFB coverage: the UK versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 36: SFB take-up levels: the UK versus other EU-28 countries
Figure 37: Seven market test pilots
Figure 38: Households' current 30 Mbps coverage level and situation with respect to DAE target
Figure 39: Percentage of households with access to a 100 Mbps service
Figure 40: Timeline of public policies introduced in the seven European countries being studied
Figure 41: Analysis of national population densities and household numbers compared to the European average
Figure 42: Technological choices in the countries being examined