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250 million Europeans with Internet access

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

The European Commission’s progress report on the use of ICT indicates that 40 percent of the population does not use the Internet. This percentage is formed mainly by individuals from the countries of eastern and southern Europe.

The data collected show that in Romania, for example, 70 per cent of people do not have access to the network, a situation common to 62 per cent of the Greek population.

Even so, 250 million Europeans have access to the Internet, of which 80 percent access via broadband connections present at home, in schools, workplaces, hospitals, municipalities, access kiosks, among other places.

Viviane Reding says that it is positive that «77% of European companies, 67% of schools and 40% of health institutions now have fast Internet connections». Even so, «some areas of the European Union are still far from these levels and are not yet fully connected», says the Commissioner.

The data for Portugal shows that we are still below the European average with regard to the use of the Internet in the community. According to the European Commission’s accounts, in January, the broadband penetration rate in Portugal was just above 15 percent, again below the European average, only 35 percent of the Portuguese population accessed the Internet last year. With regard to companies, the rate of ICT adoption is around 45 percent. In schools, Portugal appears above average with a broadband penetration close to 72 percent, data still related to 2006, in this case.

The European report also indicates that 60 percent of public services in the EU are already fully available online. In this field, and although in reality the reality does not fully correspond to the numbers in Brussels, Portugal is the European leader, since it provides 100 percent of public transactions online.

Among the study’s conclusions, the existence of 100 million broadband connections to the Internet also stands out, making the European Union the largest developed consumer market in the world and one that is in the best position to reap the economic benefits of ICT.

Finally, the European Commission concluded that, last year, 40 million people started using the Internet regularly, mainly due to the facilities that the network brings in terms of work and studies. More than 96 percent of schools are now connected to the Internet, two thirds of which are via broadband.

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