August 5, 2009

Internet use in Spain

Yesterday I finished my post talking about how dependent I am on the internet. Well, it seems like that is not the case of most Spaniards. 

According to a report by the European Commission, only 34% of Spaniards use the internet daily and 49% use the internet at least once a week. But what is most astonishing is that 38% (!!) have never used it. Some other curious data is that only 20% of the Spanish population uses broadband connections - can you imagine watching video online or even reading the paper with a dial-up connection? This data turns Spain a "leader" in the EU-15, trailing megapowers such as Romania, Bulgaria or Cyprus (no offense).

However, there is a huge contrast when it comes to mobile connections. Spain ranks 2nd after Sweden in terms of 3G phones used to access the web and meets the EU average when it comes to connecting through laptops.

This clearly suggests that there is a huge technological chasm in the population. I wouldn't say that Spain is particularly a country of early adopters but considering how many people don't even have a clue of what using the internet means, such chasm is a reality. And it is likely to become larger.

Another way to look at this is that the State is not doing as much as it should to educate people. In a country where unemployment rate is close to 20% (doubling the EU average) and where the existing productive system (based on real estate and tourism) does not work anymore and is meant to be changed - as most national and international experts point out - this data tells me that we are not going in the right direction. 

Technology means future and people should become more and more used to it. However, the weight of technologies is just 3.8% of our GDP and only 10% of the Spanish companies sell products or services online. Definitely not the right direction.

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