A super complicated study from the European Commission estimates that providing 100Mb and 1Gb speed broadband for all of the EU (including the UK for now) will cost €502 billion.
The EU has pledged a target for all 28 of its member states to get a minimum broadband speed of 100Mb by 2015, with businesses and the public sector able to expect 1Gb. The study was carried out to work out exactly how much that would all cost.
Here are the costs it calculated for six key scenarios for broadband:
- Deployment to large SEDPs (social-economic drivers and professionals, such as businesses) - €64 billion
- 'Macro mobile' connectivity for population areas - €55 billion
- 'Small cell mobile' connectivity for population areas - €119 billion
- Deployment to small SEDPs - €197 billion
- Residential coverage - €249 billion
- Transport links - €104 billion
However, those figures assume that none of those are sharing any infrastructure or costs - they're just standalone figures for each scenario. The total cost when we assume that they do share certain costs is €502 billion - about £452 billion.
It's connecting those tricky rural areas that will cost the most, the study says. In the UK alone, getting rural areas connected will cost about €2,200 per subscriber - compared to less than €1,000 per subscriber for urban areas.
In countries where there's more ground to cover, that figure shoots up; connecting all of rural Sweden to 100Mb/1Gb broadband, for instance, will cost over €11,000 per subscriber.
If you like overly complicated, difficult-to-digest reports with lots of figures and numbers, take a look at the full study on the EU Bookshop website.