The European Commission hopes to lift average broadband penetration in the European Union to 30% by 2010, up from around 20% today, in a bid to stimulate economic growth. The EC’s Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said yesterday that only eight of the bloc’s 27 member states were currently beating the US in terms of broadband usage, while the average penetration rate lagged behind the 22.1% figure reported in the United States. Although a number of nations, such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have rates closer to 30%, Reding wants to see a significant improvement across the board within the next two years. The Commissioner believes that her new telecoms reforms, currently before the European Parliament and EU states for approval, will help the trading bloc reach this 30% target. Reding hopes the reform bill will be adopted by April 2009 ahead of planned European elections in June.