A Praxis study released today found that high-speed internet service, 40 megabits per second or more, is unavailable to 55 percent of the population.

The aim of the study, conducted at the request of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Estonian Broadband Development Foundation, was to map areas of the country where there is no high-speed access because of what analysts called “market failures” – instances where market forces weren’t enough to push operators to install the necessary infrastructure, Praxis said in a release.

“We analyze the extent of areas where market failures exist and […] therefore certain interference, including state interference, is needed,” said Risto Kaarna, one of the authors of the study.

Praxis also found that 70 local governments, mainly in Saare, Tartu, Pärnu and Ida-Viru counties, were entirely outside the reach of high-speed connectivity.

Olav Harjo, head of the Estonian Broadband Development Foundation, emphasized the need to bring proper internet access to the 30 percent of the population who live in rural areas, allowing them to be part of the information society.

The foundation was set up in 2009 to implement EstWin, a project to set up a backbone network that would give the entire nation access to broadband with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second by 2015.

Source: Over Half of Population Lacks High-Speed Internet, Study Finds, ERR