«Silver surfers» prefer broadband Internet

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

The age of broadband users is changing with the growth in the rate of adhesion of senior Internet users, aged over 55 years. A study by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) shows that 68 percent of European elderly people who access the Internet have broadband connections and that the membership rate is faster than the average Internet users.

The «silver surfers» as they are classified by the study, registered a growth rate in the adhesion to the broadband of 26 percent, while the European average does not exceed 14 percent. The report also indicates that these Internet users spend an average of 8.8 hours online per week and that 78 percent of the time is dedicated to personal matters and not to work.

The conclusions of this study may have implications for the way in which senior Internet users are communicating and occupying their free time. At least 17 percent of «silver surfers» use online forums and one in five goes to MySpace and Bebo at least once a month, an area where they are still a long way from the younger generation (between 16 and 34 years old) ) where 28 percent regularly visit these sites.

The use of VoIP is also increasingly integrated into the habits of these users, with 14 percent saying they make regular calls over the Internet. E-mail and Internet searches are part of the habits of 83 percent of Internet users over the age of 55, and from the data collected, it is also concluded that 21 percent of these Internet users listen to online radio, 7 percent do download of TV shows and movies and another 7 percent play on the Internet.

Among the most popular content are travel and vacation sites, visited by 60 and 55 percent of respondents, respectively, while ticket purchases were experienced by 47 percent of «silver surfers». The acquisition of other products is also well above the average: 74 percent have already made purchases online and spends an average of 830 euros in six months.

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