Measures to increase broadband internet use, EUR 9 bln impact for the economy

An increase in broadband Internet penetration in Romania could improve GDP by 5 per cent in four years but despite low prices and high internet speeds, Romania still ranks among last in the EU on broadband internet penetration, according to a Roland Berger Strategy Consultants study. Its impact into the economy is currently limited by the low penetration, and by the main structure of the country’s GDP, mainly based on industry, agriculture and constructions, and to a little extent on services. But with support form the authorities, broadband internet could go up to 5 or 6 per cent of the GDP by 2018, or in absolute terms, up to EUR 9 billion. This would be generated by activities directly related to the internet – such as e-commerce, telecom investments, but also by fostering innovation, increasing productivity, access to new markets, among others, according to the consultancy firm. A higher broadband internet penetration would bring benefits to businesses, as it could ease remote working and recruiting, as well as help citizens and public institutions. Three quarters of users would like to manage their relationship with the authorities online, the study reveals.
Broadband internet comes cheap in Romania, with an average subscription fee of EUR 11 for speeds of up to 30Mbps, compared to the EU average of EUR 18. Suppliers have also expanded their networks, to cover more of Romania, but the adoption rate is still low: 50 per cent of Romanian households in 2012, the lowest in the EU, where the average is of 73 per cent.

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