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All European households, including those in the most remote areas, should be able to get minimum download speeds of 100Mbps by 2025.

The new target has been set by the European Commission (EC), which also wants businesses and public sector organisations to have access to speeds of at least 1Gbps by this time.

In order to help reach these goals, the EC has proposed a new European Electronic Communications Code that includes "forward-looking and simplified rules", which it hopes will "make it more attractive for all companies to invest in new top-quality infrastructures everywhere in the EU, both locally and across national borders".

Estimates from the organisation suggest this could boost GDP across the European Union by an extra €910 billion, as well as create 1.3 million new jobs by 2025.

The EC wants to support this by ensuring all urban areas, major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage, with 5G being commercially available in at least one major city in each EU country by 2020.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, commented: "Without first-class communication networks, there will be no Digital Single Market. We need connectivity that people can afford and use while on the move. 

"To achieve that, spectrum policies must be better coordinated across the EU. More competition and further integration of the European market will allow us to reach these goals, helped by the right environment created by the new Communications Code."

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, added that connectivity is "a key prerequisite for Europe's digital future", as innovations such as the cloud, big data and the Internet of Things demand "secure and ubiquitous connectivity, with the best speed and quality".

"It is time to move to a gigabit society and make sure all Europeans, whether in the countryside or in cities, can get access to a quality internet connection," he said.

The move could put pressure on the UK government to adopt a more ambitious strategy, as it is currently aiming to give everyone a legal right to fast broadband, with speeds of 10Mbps as the absolute minimum.

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