Lamenting that nearly a third of Europeans have yet to surf the World Wide Web, EC Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has outlined an ambitious agenda for the European Union (EU) that calls for the expansion of basic broadband access service throughout the EU by 2013 and that by 2020 would extend high-speed broadband of at least 30 Mbps to all Europeans and ultra-high speed services of at least 100 Mbps to half of Europe. In announcing the EC’s Digital Agenda, Kroes cited statistics that show EU-wide broadband usage lagging behind that of the U.S. and top Asian markets such as South Korea and Japan. Currently, the EU’s broadband penetration rate stands at 25%, and 30% of Europeans have never used the Internet. A mere 1% of Europeans have surfed the web via a fiber optic connection as compared to 12% of Japanese users and 15% of users in South Korea. Reaching out to so-called “digital virgins” in hopes of ensuring that “all have the opportunity to discover the wonders of the digital world,” Kroes said the EC’s agenda would focus on seven goals that would involve as many as 100 recommended actions and 31 separate pieces of legislation. Included among those goals are (1) the establishment of a single, EU-wide market for e-commerce with full cross-border e-authentification that would enable online shoppers easily to purchase products beyond their national boundaries, (2) the enactment of a “digital code” to cover the rights of web users, and (3) passage of laws to ensure greater online security and vigilance against cyber attacks. Pointing to wide variations in broadband prices, access and quality among the 27 EU member states, a spokesman for the European Competitive Telecommunications Association emphasized that EC guidance “is critical to reinvigorate competition and ensure that the most fundamental single market principles, such as non-discrimination and access to bottleneck infrastructure at fair prices, are applied consistently across Europe.”