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Almost All European Schools Are Network Connected

The European Commission recently lifted the barriers for the public sector services, nationally and regionally, arguing, at the end of May, that its initial plan to connect all the schools to the Internet is almost complete. The next target is to make the transition of the public services - mainly schools and hospitals - to broadband access, Erkki Liikanen, EC's representative for enterprises and information society, declared.

According to a poll conducted by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the Internet penetration in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Germany and UK is almost 100%. Spain comes last in this top, with only 59% of the schools having access to the Internet. Despite the good figures, the Flash Eurobarometers study estimated that the broadband access is still rare.
The report for the European Commission shows that less than 20% of the European schools have ADSL access (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and only 5% use cable access. 25% of the connected schools still use the dial-up connection, and 60% connect through ISDN lines (Integrated Services Digital Network).

The local authorities have massively migrated to the Internet. Sweden comes first in a recent list of countries that run their administration operations online. Between October 2001 and April 2002, Sweden reported a 20% increase of the number of administration websites. Still, without broadband, the e-government lacks its most important feature: being interactive. The immediate purpose in the e-Europe 2000 plan, unveiled by Liikanen at the end of May is to provided all the national and local boards with completely interactive sites, before the end of 2004, and broadband access in all schools before the end of 2005.



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