empirica contributes key data and results to the European Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for 2021 by DG CNECT

Today marks the launch of the European Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for 2021 by the European Commission, DG CNECT, to which empirica has been contributing for the past six years. The DESI is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU Member States in digital competitiveness. Included indicators cover the areas of Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technologies, and Digital Public Services.

We perform our key role in informing the DESI Broadband Connectivity indicator through our monitoring studies on retail broadband prices conducted on behalf of the European Commission. The subject of our activities for the DESI are comprehensive datasets on retail prices of fixed and mobile broadband offers for consumers in the EU27, United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Japan, South Korea, and the USA. Overall, mobile, and fixed broadband prices tend to decrease, the availability of high-speed broadband offers increases and is expected to do so in the future.

Fixed and mobile broadband offer data have been collected during the same monitoring period of October 2020″¯as part of the new study on “Retail Broadband Prices in Europe, 2019-2021”. The study monitored offers from the largest Mobile Network Operators and Internet Service Providers in each country to ensure that the lowest price products are widely available and purchased. A novelty the most recent study brings is the implementation of a household approach fully aligned to the 2018 BEREC Guidelines. A set of 17 representative household and “stand-alone” baskets with different usage patterns were considered. In particular, household baskets include convergent bundles, that is, bundles of usage including both fixed access products and mobile broadband services (data and voice) to represent the growing trend of fixed broadband lines bundled with mobile services, which in some cases have the most competitive prices. The new study period saw several methodological adaptions to reflect changing market conditions and to ensure a reliable and realistic representation of broadband market prices according to current and future consumption patterns.

The study team at empirica is now preparing the data analysis of this year’s monitoring period and is looking forward to informing the European Commission on price developments within the Digital Single Market and support the vision of affordable and wide-spread high-speed broadband services.