Internet usage in the European Union is rising and it's no accident - the EU and United Kingdom governments are investing in policies to boost their digital economies. Their carefully considered Digital Agenda aims to improve Internet business opportunities by boosting broadspeed and getting more people online.

What's more, each country is vying to outdo the others. For example, Britain is aiming to win the race online by becoming the first nation in the world where everyone is able to access and use the Web.

Robert Nicholson is the Marketing Manager at Interxion, a UK-based data services provider. You can follow him on Twitter at @robbothan.

Good for Europe, you may be saying - but what has it got to do with businesses in the US? Well, the answer is a heck of a lot. Interxion has put together a visualization of the data surrounding this digital race and unearthed some startling figures that represent fantastic opportunities for businesses worldwide.

Here is what we discovered:

Perhaps the most relevant piece of information is that while 45% of British businesses are purchasing goods and services online, only 15% of British businesses are providing them. This means that UK-based companies are not meeting the demand, and this is where international businesses can swoop in and cater to this need.

However, the Digital Agenda's main purpose was to stimulate domestic business opportunities in order to decrease the EU's reliance on the financial industry. In an effort to boost local economies, the Agenda could potentially force proprietary systems (think Apple's iPhone) to open up to competitors.

Nevertheless, recent events are making the EU attractive for international business owners - particularly in e-commerce. With more and more European users online looking to purchase goods, international companies have a historic chance to grab some of that business.

- Robert Nicholson