Eurobarometer: European citizens want the best telecommunications network

According to the latest Eurobarometer survey published a few weeks ago by the European Commission, 4 out of 5 European citizens want advanced connectivity for their lives. This study highlights the interest of European citizens in having access to a high-performance Internet.

Eurobarometer European citizens want the best telecommunications networks
Eduardo Lanza

Eduardo Lanza Saiz

Reading time: 4 min

According to the latest new Eurobarometer survey published on June, four out of five Europeans believe that digital technologies are becoming increasingly important in their daily lives and that Europe should take more action to ensure a successful digital transformation, confirming the alignment of the objectives set out in the Digital Decade for Europe.

Having the best telecommunications networks in Europe is not a luxury, it is a vital necessity for citizens. In countries with extensive fibre optic development, citizens know are aware that they can benefit from the advantages of fibre. 76% of Europeans are familiar with the benefits of high-performance networks, for example for health services, telemedicine and even early diagnosis of diseases.

In addition, according to Eurobarometer, 66% of citizens believe that in order to fight climate change digital technologies are essential to fight climate change. 82% of Europeans expect digital technologies to be central to connecting online with people, friends and family by 2030.

Priorities for the European citizens according to Eurobarometer

It is noteworthy that the Eurobarometer asked Europeans to rank their first and second priorities in terms of national priorities from a list of 11 options. Combining the results of the two questions, the protection of users from cyber attacks came first, followed by improving the availability of high-speed internet. According to Eurobarometer, 76% of Europeans believe that advanced connectivity and stronger cybersecurity will make their daily use of digital technologies significantly better. Two thirds of citizens call for more education and training to develop their digital skills. Likewise, two thirds also believe that digital technologies will play an important role in the fight against climate change.

Finally, more than 80% of Europeans believe that Member States should work together more to advance access to digital technologies, as well as to stimulate innovation and develop a competitive market. When it comes to a values-based digital transformation, only half of Europeans believe that digital rights and principles are well protected in Europe.

36% of citizens believe that more needs to be done and, when it comes to secure digital environments and control of personal data, less than half consider that the implementation of digital rights and principles in their country is satisfactory. In particular, citizens are concerned when it comes to protecting children and young people.

How can European governments meet the need of European citizens demanding better internet?

People’s lives depend on telecommunications networks, and citizens who enjoy the latest generation networks are the ones who can benefit from the best digital services. In order to raise the welfare ratio of citizens, governments and public institutions must promote the best telecommunications networks in Europe. 81% of Europeans believe that by 2030 it will be essential to access public services online. Therefore, governments need to prepare now for accessibility and make sure there is the best possible connectivity to access public services.

76% would like to see improved availability of higher performance internet. Telecommunication companies in Europe are investing more than ever before, but this is not enough for citizens. It is clear that new ways must be found to meet this need for Europe’s citizens. The Commission has estimated a 174 billion euro investment gap to reach the connectivity targets of the Digital Decade and companies do not have sufficient resources. So, the question is obvious: how can European governments meet the need of European citizens demanding better internet?

The best thing about citizens problem is that governments have the solution in their hands. This means changing the rules and establishing a fairer internet system given the investment gap needed. There is no doubt that the solution lies in a Fair Share approach for the big beneficiaries of the digital chain.

Contributory model established by each Member State

The social welfare state of each government is supported by the contributory model established by each Member State. This model is regulated and operates under agreed parameters so that there are no major divergences between Member States. In all European countries, whoever earns the most wealth must contribute more to sustain the welfare model.

In Europe, the internet model can be compared to the “best” of tax havens. Those who generate the most traffic are the ones earning the most money but contributing nothing. Europe has become a scandalous tax haven for giant internet players. Citizens have realised this, and it is now up to lawmakers to urgently set new rules for the internet. These rules must be fairer for all and meet the connectivity needs of European citizens. Better connectivity means greater wealth generation for all and greater satisfaction of citizens with their governments.

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