Malta tops EU fixed broadband services index

According to the EC’s annual index, Malta is the only EU member state with full coverage of ultrafast networks

Silvio Schembri
Silvio Schembri

According to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), published yesterday, Malta leads the European Union in availability of fixed broadband services, being the only EU country with full coverage of ultrafast networks. Mobile broadband take-up has experienced a progressive yearly growth of 32%, that is from 65% in 2016 to 97% in 2018.

The index conducted by the European Commission assessed its member states’ digital competitiveness.

Overall, the index ranks Malta 10th out of the 28 EU member states, establishing Malta’s performance above the EU average.

Malta also ranked second in the take-up of fast broadband by households. In fact, in 2018, 69% of households had such service whilst the European average stood at 41%, whilst Malta’s ranking in take-up of ultrafast broadband rose significantly from 3% in 2016 to 23% in 2018, which surpasses the European Average.

Speaking after the release of the DESI index, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri welcomed with satisfaction the findings of the annual assessment.

Schembri said that whilst the assessment clearly showed Malta’s strong IT infrastructure, more efforts were needed in enhancing the existing skills and to encourage future generations to pursue a career in this industry.

“While as a country we have moved fast in the digital space, we are still lagging behind in female participation in the ICT sector. Hence, as a government, we are committed to boost our efforts in encouraging women to pursue a career in this industry,” he said.

“While Malta’s digital infrastructure is at the forefront as reflected in the DESI assessment itself, our next challenge is to enhance the existing skills and that of future generations which are now required in most jobs. In fact just today, the WOMEN4IT project was launched aimed at developing the digital competences of young women who are at risk of exclusion from the labour market, thus improving their employability.

Our ultimate goal is to provide a complete ecosystem that pays operators to operate from here by sustaining our talent pool and generating further opportunities.”

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