Luxembourg - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Luxembourg has an excellent road system, communications network, and power supply system. The government spends a higher percentage of its GDP on infrastructure than any other European nation. There are 5,166 kilometers (3,210 miles) of paved roads, including 166 kilometers (103 miles) of expressways. The nation's railways are fully electrified, and the government is spending 12 billion francs on further improvements to the system. Railroads provide a main method to transport goods to and from Luxembourg. The Moselle River has canals which link it to the Rhine River. This waterway provides links between Luxembourg and ports on the North Sea. The Grand Duchy has a small merchant marine fleet with 56 commercial vessels. The nation's main port is the river port of Mertert, which, along with the smaller port of Bech-Kleinmacher, handled 1,868,230 tons of freight in 1994.

Findel Airport is the nation's only international airport, but it has become a major air terminal. The airport is 5 miles from the capital. The government has engaged in a continuing effort to expand the airport's capacity. Luxembourg has an open-skies agreement with the other EU members and with the United States that allows unrestricted flights between the nations. The Grand Duchy's largest airline, Cargolux, is among Europe's top 10 air cargo carriers. The state-owned airline provides 3 percent of the government's annual revenue. Luxair is the national passenger airline and transports over 1 million people annually.

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Luxembourg 314,700 (1999) 215,741 (2000) AM 2; FM 9; shortwave 2 (1999) 285,000 5 (1999) 285,000 (1998 est.) 8 86,000 (1999)
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Germany 45.2 M 15.318 M (1999) AM 51; FM 767; shortwave 4 77.8 M 373 (1995) 51.4 M (1998) 123 18 M
Belgium 4.769 M 974,494 FM 79; AM 7; shortwave 1 8.075 M 25 4.72 M 61 2.7 M
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

The Grand Duchy has also engaged in a broad effort to improve its already superior communications network. This effort, known as E-Luxembourg, significantly increases the financial resources devoted to expanding Internet access and the use of information technology. Half the households have personal computers, and 1 in 3 Luxembourgers have access to the Internet. Currently, 40 percent of elementary schools and all secondary schools have Internet access. There are 5 communications satellites owned by Luxembourg and 2 more will be in orbit by 2002.

The communications infrastructure is among the best in the world which has aided the growth of the financial and banking sectors. The government is privatizing the telecommunications sector. The telephone system is extensive and half of Luxembourgers have mobile phones. Most of the power and telephone lines are underground, as are the nation's petroleum pipelines. Although most of the nation's electricity and power is imported, 1 percent of its energy is produced by local hydroelectric plants. The nation consumes 5.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric power per year.

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