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Malta among leaders in Broadband take-up in homes

Eighty-two per cent of Maltese households now have a high speed internet connection and according to a new OECD survey, Malta is now ahead of Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the UK, Canada, Germany and the US in the sector.

The survey says that Malta ranks third, behind Iceland at 86.7% and Korea at 95.9%.

Between June 2009 and June 2010 broadband subscriptions in Malta surged by an unprecedented 10.2% - the largest jump recorded over the years, according to figures compiled by the NSO.

There are 117,503 Maltese households using high speed internet.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Communications said the pronounced increase in the take-up of high speed broadband services was the most significant product of government’s several initiatives ito narrow the digital divide.

These included the supply of over 2,000 personal computers to less privileged people at very affordable prices, wi-fi spots in schools, local councils and public places.

Malta, it added, also leads the way in providing the most sophisticated e-Government package in the EU as confirmed by EU benchmarking reports, attracting more users to on line public services, as well as the rest of the Internet.

The laying of international submarine cables linking Malta to the Internet had also contributed to strengthen the ICT infrastructure.

Minister Austin Gatt stated that he never had a doubt Malta would reach the pinnacle.

“I always believed in Malta and my Government’s policies have helped unleash our true potential. I consider this latest leap in broadband take-up to be yet one more sign that Malta is a truly inclusive society and provides the ideal environment for investment and initiative. The statistics indicate that subscriptions in all forms of communications technology, not only Internet but also fixed and mobile telephony as well as pay TV, continued to increase during the second quarter of 2010. This is just the sort of encouragement we need to take Malta to the next generation network.”

The NSO statistics also indicate that 88.4 per cent of broadband subscribers had a connection speed of more than or equal to 2Mbps, but less than 10Mbps. The standard minimum speed in local broadband connections is in fact 4Mbps, already above the EU average.

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