Home Internet Access Pulls Ahead

Internet penetration is now higher at home than at work in nations with the highest overall access, according to a recent survey of users in 18 countries.

The survey, conducted by the International Research Institutes (IriS), found that the traditional preference for usage at work has been overturned in Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and The Netherlands. Internet access as whole continues to increase year after year across the globe according to the survey, rising sharply in some countries. According to IriS, approximately 30 percent of adults now have Internet access in Finland, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, and The Netherlands.

PC and modem ownership have also continued to grow, the survey found. Seventy percent of the households in Denmark now own a PC, while in the UK, PC penetration has increased from 32 percent to 39 percent in the past year. At the same time, modem ownership in the UK has risen by one-third, to 21 percent of the population.

Home and Work Internet Access
Nation Home
Denmark 37% 33%
Sweden 36% 27%
Australia 31% 25%
Canada 29% 21%
Finland 21% 24%
The Netherlands 19% 10%
Switzerland 18% 26%
The UK 15% 14%
France 7% 10%
Germany 11% 13%
Source: IriS

Future PC purchases are likely to increase in countries which have the highest current penetration levels, the survey found.

“In most countries, including Great Britain, current PC owners are just as likely to say they will buy a new PC, as a replacement or additional, as non-owners,” said Janette Henderson of MORI UK.

The IriS survey also found that e-commerce is starting to take off, although penetration in the general population is still quite low. Denmark and Sweden lead in the e-commerce arena with 10 percent of adults having made online purchases. In the UK, online shopping is rising steadily from 2 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 1999.

“While e-commerce is evident only at relatively low levels and in limited product categories, the potential for growth within existing Internet users is tremendous, as is the potential for e-commerce to further drive demand for PCs and Internet connections,” said Barry Watson of Environics of Canada.

The IriS Internet survey is based on more than 18,000 interviews conducted in 18 nations in early 1999. The countries are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Uruguay. IriS is an association of 26 independent research companies around the world.

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