August 6, 2009

EU countries show Internet use disparity

A new study by the European Commission in Brussels reveals increases in Internet use and also disparities among European Union countries.

The study said 43 percent of EU citizens use the Web every day. The biggest increases in regular Internet use were in Ireland, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania, The EU Observer reported.

The study also found Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Portugal lag far behind in Internet use.

About 90 percent of EU households have a fixed broadband connection available, but the connections are only used by 50 percent of households.

Low usage rates are seen among low income families, those in the 65 to 74 age group and those with low levels of education. The countries with the most social disparities are Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Lithuania, Slovenia and Italy.

Digital equality is greatest in Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Luxembourg.