November 29, 2012 | Tim Johnson
One of the European Union’s most ambitious targets is to make sure that all its citizens can get access to superfast broadband at home, if they choose, by 2020. A new study by broadband specialists Point Topic shows Cyprus had yet to start on that road as of the end of 2011, but it was in a good position to begin rolling out superfast soon.
Cyprus already has almost complete coverage by basic broadband services, providing download speeds of at least 144kbps (kilobits per second). Using this infrastructure it is expected to roll-out superfast services offering more than 30Mbps (megabits per second) over much of the country during 2012 and 2013. These will be both VDSL, offering high-speed broadband over the telephone network and Docsis 3, which can provide even higher speeds over cable TV networks.
The study showing the situation in Cyprus has been produced for DG Connect, the department of the European Commission which is responsible for its “Digital Agenda” strategy. The purpose of the Digital Agenda is to harness the internet and other digital technologies to drive sustainable economic growth. Neelie Kroes, the Commission vice-president responsible, wants to see €7 billion earmarked for EU investments in broadband to help reach Digital Agenda targets, which in turn is meant to draw in private funds of many times that amount.
“This study gives us the best view so far of where action is needed on broadband coverage,” says Neelie Kroes. “It will help to guide decisions on where EU and private money can be invested to provide the best long-term return for taxpayers and investors such as pension funds.”
Called Broadband Coverage in Europe in 2011, the new study shows that 100% of the homes in Cyprus can now get basic broadband, if they want to subscribe. In fact, Cyprus is one of only six EU countries which already have 100% coverage at this level.
At the same time there was virtually no superfast broadband (also known as NGA, for Next Generation Access) available in Cyprus at end-2011. Looking at the 29 study countries as a whole (all 27 members of the EU, plus Norway and Iceland), 96% of homes can already get basic broadband and over 50% – half way to the “digital heaven” target for 2020 – can get superfast.
“As a small country with a mostly urban population Cyprus should find it fairly easy to achieve the Digital Agenda target for 100% superfast coverage,” explains Tim Johnson, who led the project as Point Topic’s Chief Analyst. “We expect to see Cyprus well on the way to that goal when we repeat the study in 2013.”
Key to technologies
DSL – provides broadband speeds up to 24 megabits per second over the telephone network
VDSL (Very-fast DSL) – provides superfast speeds (30Mbps or more) over the telephone network
FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) – delivers the fastest possible broadband over optical fibre to apartment blocks or all the way to individual homes
WiMAX – the up-to-date standard for broadband over wireless links to fixed aerials
Standard cable – provides broadband over cable TV networks using older standards
Docsis 3 cable – the up-to-date standard for providing superfast broadband over cable TV networks
HSPA – the up-to-date standard for mobile broadband over 3G networks
LTE – the new standard for fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband
Satellite – two-way broadband delivered over the newest satellites using KA-Band technology
Standard combination – shows the combined coverage of all the fixed-line broadband technologies
NGA combination – shows the combined c overage of all the fixed-line superfast broadband technologies (VDSL, FTTP and Docsis 3)
About Point Topic
Point Topic is the primary websource for DSL, FTTx, cable and other broadband supplier and user statistics, databases, information and reports. Its data is in use worldwide amongst governments, commercial organisations and as general reference. A range of online services provides the most up-to-date, accurate and cost effective worldwide and UK specific broadband data sets available. See www.point-topic.com for more details.