Saturday, November 11, 2006

Internet in EU25 used at least once a week

A third of households and three-quarters of enterprises had broadband internet access. In the EU25, 52% of households1 had access to the internet during the first quarter of 2006, compared to 48% during the first quarter of 2005, and 32% had a broadband connection, compared to 23% in 2005. At the beginning of 2006, 94% of enterprises2 with at least 10 persons employed had access to the internet (91% at the beginning of 2005), and 75% of enterprises had a broadband connection (63% in 2005). In the first quarter of 2006, 47% of individuals1 in the EU25 used the internet regularly, i.e. at least once a week, whether at home or at any other location.

This data3 comes from a report of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. This release presents part of the results of surveys on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by households, individuals and enterprises in the EU25 Member States, Norway and Iceland. As well as internet use, the surveys also cover broadband connections, e-commerce, e-government and e-skills.

Household internet access ranged from 23% in Greece to 80% in the Netherlands. In the first quarter of 2006, the highest proportions of households with internet access were recorded in the
Netherlands (80%), Denmark (79%), Sweden (77%) and Luxembourg (70%). The lowest levels were registered in Greece (23%), Slovakia (27%), Hungary (32%), Lithuania and Portugal (both 35%).
At the beginning of 2006, the highest proportions of enterprises with internet access were recorded in Finland (99%), Denmark and Austria (both 98%) and the Netherlands (97%). Only in Latvia (80%), Cyprus (86%), Lithuania (88%) and Poland (89%) were fewer than 90% of enterprises connected to the internet.

Broadband offers a much faster connection to the internet, and offers the potential of changing the way the internet is used. The proportion of households with a broadband connection in 2006 was highest in the Netherlands (66%), Denmark (63%), Finland (53%) and Sweden (51%), and lowest in Greece (4%), Slovakia (11%), Cyprus (12%) and Ireland (13%). Amongst enterprises the highest levels of broadband connections were recorded in Sweden and Finland (both 89%), Spain (87%) and France (86%), and the lowest in Poland (46%), Cyprus (55%), Lithuania (57%) and Latvia (59%).

Nearly three quarters of young people used the internet at least once a week. In the first quarter of 2006, the highest proportions of individuals regularly using the internet were recorded in
Sweden (80%), Denmark (78%), the Netherlands (76%) and Finland (71%), and the lowest in Greece (23%), Cyprus (29%), Italy and Portugal (both 31%).

At EU25 level a higher proportion of men than women used the internet regularly (51% of men compared with 43% of women), and this was true for all Member States, although in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland the gap was only one or two percentage points. In Luxembourg the gap was 21 percentage points (men 76%, women 55%).

While nearly three quarters of individuals in the EU25 aged 16 to 24 (73%), and more than half of those aged 25 to 54 (54%), used the internet regularly, only a fifth of those aged 55 to 74 (20%) did so. While the gap in regular use between Member States ranged from one to two for 16-24 year olds (47% in Greece to 96% in the Netherlands) and one to three for 25-54 year olds (27% in Greece to 89% in Sweden), it reached one to fourteen for 55-74 year olds (4% in Greece to 56% in Denmark and Sweden).

While we are on stats, I saw this morning some interesting stats on the broadband speed in the Netherlands in a report by Telecompaper. This is always interesting for comparison. Officially I am on 8Mbps for downloading, but this speed is hardly reached. Usually I am in the 7.x Mbps band. It is not bad. But there are times when the speed goes down to 2.5Mbps. By next month I will upgrade to 20Mbps with UPC Extreme.

Yet the average measured download speed of broadband access lines in the Netherlands at the end of June 2006 is 2,808 Kbps. Compared with the start of 2006, this download speed increased with 53 percent from 1.829 Kbps. These figures come from Telecompaper's latest research report "Dutch Broadband Access Monitor". In this report raw data from the firm's research partner Iping Research is used to analyse the actual download speed experienced by the end-users, and to analyse the composition of the installed base per provider and technology

Of the Dutch DSL providers, Tele2 has the highest average measured download speed, with XS4All and Orange following in second place. Het Net and Direct ADSL have the lowest download speed, which is in line with the market positioning of the two brands. It should be noted that Teletel provides ADSL2+ for the soccer games.

UPC outperforms its cable peers on average download speed, followed by @Home, which comes in second, but was the slowest at the end of 2005. Telco’s Chello and Tele2 are the only two providers which have average download speeds of more than 4,096 Kbps.

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Blog Posting Number: 566

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