Canadians on the Net

More than half of the Canadian population has access to the Internet, and more than one quarter of the population uses the Web at least once a week, according to Toronto-based research firm ComQUEST.

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Fifty-five percent (13.5 million) of Canadians have Internet access, 41 percent (11.3 million) have connected in the past three months, and 26 percent (7.6 million) use the Web each week, ComQUEST found. Weekly usage is up 160 percent from a 1996 survey, and the company expects 33 percent of Canadians to use the Web on a weekly basis in 1999.

The percentage of Canadians with access to the Internet is up from 37 percent in the fall of 1996, but has remained practically the same for three of the last four quarters. Short-term Internet growth in Canada depends on existing users increasing their time online, according to ComQUEST.

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Home use of the Internet in Canada is growing at a faster pace than at-work access because of lower access fees, ComQUEST found. Home access was reported by 10 percent of the population in 1996, and 22 percent in the Fall of 1998. Canadian men are more likely to access from home than women, and more than 60 percent of Canadian home users spend more than three hours online each week. At work, 56 percent of Canadian users spend less than three hours on the Web each week.

Canadian Internet users are also getting more loyal, ComQUEST found. In 1996, only 9 percent connected 11 or more times each week. In 1998, 32 percent connected 11 or more times each week.

February 23, 1999

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