For each day of 2007, more than 50,000 European homes and businesses added a high-speed broadband Internet connection, according to the European Commission .
About 19 million broadband lines were added in Europe last year, generating revenues of $98 billion for telecom operators. The entire telecom sector in the European Union (EU) was worth nearly $473 billion last year, growing by 1.9 percent from 2006.
Increased competition in Europe has slashed broadband prices at the same time that Internet speeds have increased, the Commission said. Mobile Internet 3G services doubled last year, to 88 million users – some 20 percent of the EU’s population.
Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands now top a world-league table for the percentage of people with broadband Internet, the Commission said, although the EU as a whole lags behind other major world regions, with a broadband penetration rate of just 20 percent.
More than half of EU broadband connections have speeds of 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps, although the Commission said that there is now a "significant amount" of connections with more than 10 Mbps.
The Commission warned that mobile phone operators are charging customers too much for data roaming, mobile Internet services and text messaging when customers are abroad.
"If operators do not react by July 2009, regulation will be inevitable," the Commission said.
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