The European Commission has backed an action plan that could make accessibility mandatory in e-procurement.
The plan is designed to make sure that web-disadvantaged groups can get online. The EC plan calls for European-wide broadband coverage to reach 90% by 2010. According to the Commission, only about 60% of rural areas are covered by broadband services, although the figure rises to about 90% in urban areas.
The EC is also committed to adopting new measures that will halve exclusion rates in digital literacy by 2010. As well as these measures, the EC is considering the possible introduction of mandatory accessibility standards in public procurement, again to be brought in by 2010.
Legislation is also being considered to tackle the e-accessibility issue. Recent studies have found that the majority of websites are inaccessible by disabled people.