Despite efforts by the Ministry of Digital Government and the development of a series of new e-services, Greece is in the bottom 3 positions of the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) announced on Friday.
The comparison of prices in broadband services in fixed and mobile telephony, based on data at the end of 2020, is extremely unfavorable for Greece as it ranks the country among the most expensive in the EU in a number of packages and combined services. In mobile telephony, in 12 Greek connection packages examined, 10 are considered "relatively more expensive" or "more expensive". However, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Malta are even more expensive than our country, in mobile telephony packages.
Extremely problematic is the desperately low penetration of fixed broadband communications at speeds of at least 100 Mbps. In Greece, only three in a hundred consumers have access to these high-speed connections, while the EU average is more than ten times higher, at more than 30 percent.
One of the most important reasons for Greece’s poor performance, beating only Romania and Bulgaria, are delays in investments from telecommunication providers, but also the delayed state intervention, for the development of high-speed broadband networks.
The conclusions of the European Commission are based on data from September 2020, ie a year ago, meaning that Greece hasn’t benefitted from the fact that in the last 12 months a number of new services went online, while the investment program of OTE accelerated on the installation of fiber optic networks (FTTH).
The commission's report notes, however, that "Greece continues to improve its performance in almost all aspects of the DESI index, although in most cases its score is still below the EU average." It adds that our country may have made "little progress in terms of digital skills" but that the percentage of employed women ICT specialists in Greece is growing rapidly..
In addition, "Greece has improved its connectivity performance and started developing very high-capacity networks, although it is still well below the EU average in covering very high-capacity networks and penetrating fixed broadband communications at high speeds. at least 100Mbps."
The Commission considers that "the development of networks resilient to future developments is likely to be accelerated by the expected investment in fiber optics (such as the project" Ultra-Fast Broadband Infrastructure ") and the development of the 5G network". Greece has 99% of the 5G readiness index, which means that almost all the innovative zones of the EU-harmonized 5G spectrum have been assigned.
With an overall score of 37.7 (compared to the EU average of 50.2), Greece ranks 27th in the EU in connectivity. It is noted that "it continues to make very rapid progress in terms of high-speed broadband (NGA) coverage. This coverage increased by 6 percentage points in 2020, reaching 87%, which is in line with the EU average. This increase could be attributed to the gradual development of the networks through the vectoring plan ".