The EU has pledged to ensure half of Europeans have access to 30Mbps broadband access by 2020.

The pledge is just one of a number of measures in the EU's Digital Agenda – a five-year plan to improve internet access across its member states.

The proposals, which were unveiled by digital affairs commissioner Neelie Kroes, also include ensuring broadband access is available across the whole of the EU by 2013 and encouraging half of all EU residents to shop online and use web-base public services by 2015.

According to Kroes, the EU has invested 40 percent less in technology than the US while a third of Europeans had never used the web.

Furthermore, only one percent have access to super-fast internet connections. Kroes said could mean that by 2015 as many as 700,000 jobs that rely on web and other technology skills will remain unfilled.

The digital affairs commissioner also urged EU member states to increase its investment on technological research and development to €11bn (£9.5bn) a year.

See also: Gov't should concentrate on 2Mbps broadband