A third of people in the European Union say they have never used the internet, according to an EU study published today. The report found that 25 per cent of Europeans had never used a computer before, while 40 per cent had no internet access at home. Almost 33 per cent of those with no internet access said they didn't feel they had a need for it, while one in four said they couldn't afford it. The findings were revealed in a report, commissioned and published by the European Union, in to the state of the digital economy in member countries. It concluded that digital products and services could play a significant role in lifting Europe out of the current financial crisis. The study reveals that almost 80 per cent of EU citizens access the internet using a high-speed broadband connection, with young people aged between 16 and 24 the biggest web users, while those aged 65 and over, and the unemployed, were the least active online.
One in three British youngsters aged between 16 and 24 said they would not be willing to pay for online services such as digital music downloads, although 10 per cent said they had paid for such online services in the past. The report, entitled Digital Competitiveness, found that almost three-quarters of all European youngsters in this age group were using what it called "advanced" online services to create and share content over the web, on sites such as YouTube. Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for information society and media, said governments should focus on freeing up the internet for these "super-users". "To release the economic potential of these digital natives, we must make access to digital content an easy and fair game," she said. "These young people are intensive internet users and also highly demanding consumers. "We should seize the opportunity of a new generation of Europeans who will soon be calling the shots in the European marketplace." ( www.telegraph.co.uk )