Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Look behind the numbers

A European Union report released on April 6th showed big differences in the level of Internet use among EU nations, with Benelux and Nordic countries leading the way and eastern and southeastern Europe generally lagging behind.

But that's not the story here. The EU tried to play it up but the numbers are dismal. We in Europe think that we are part of the 'inner circle' when it comes to internet and all the Web 2.0 hype.

Europe is not. It's that simple.

In the Netherlands, 78 percent of households are connected to the Net, compared to just 16 percent in Lithuania, according to the report from the Eurostat statistics agency, based on data gathered in early 2005.

The Dutch lead the way in domestic broadband access, with 54 percent of homes with broadband but look at this ... 1 percent in Greece, 4 percent in Cyprus and 5 percent in the Czech Republic.

In Greece, 73 percent of the population say they have never used the Internet.

More than half the citizens of the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland and Portugal have never logged on to the Net. Among students, only 7 percent across the EU have never used the Internet.

That's a sad story.

For EU businesses, Internet access rose from 89 percent to 91 percent, while broadband connections increased from 53 percent to 63 percent.

Perhaps an a tax incentive for individuals households would make sense.

Below are the world numbers - another obvious story being told. Growth is where it should be.


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