Despite IT Boom, 1/3 of Bulgarian Households Lack Internet Access

Society | December 12, 2016, Monday // 17:08| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Despite IT Boom, 1/3 of Bulgarian Households Lack Internet Access File photo, BGNES

More than a third of Bulgarian households still have no internet access at home, national statistics reveal.

“Nearly half of them (49.5%) state that the main reason was the lack of skills for working with internet, 42.5% believe that they did not need it (not useful, interesting, etc.) and according to 32.1% the equipment was expensive,” according to fresh data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI) for this year.

The 63.5% share of households in Bulgaria had internet access at home marks a growth of 4.4 percentage points compared to the previous year. 62.8% of the households were provided with fast and reliable broadband connection, which included fixed wired connection and internet connection through the mobile phone network.

In 2016, 58.1% of the individuals aged between 16 and 74 years used the Internet every day or at least once a week. There is a stable trend of growth in the regular internet usage by the individuals and in comparison to the previous year an increase of 3.5 percentage points was registered.

The most active web users were the young people aged between 16 and 24 years, as 87.2% of them use the internet every day or at least once a week. While age is increasing, the desire and need of the persons to be present in the global network decreases and only 12.9% of the individuals aged between 65 and 74 years surf regularly.

The employment situation also affects Internet activity. The network was most often used by students (not in the labor force), 95.3% of them surf regularly, and among employees and self-employed persons the relative share was 74.9%. Almost half of the unemployed also regularly benefited from the opportunities provided by the internet (44.4%).

The mobile phone is the most preferred device to access the internet at home, used by 70.4% of active internet users. In addition to the traditional devices such as a desktop computer, laptop and tablet some users chose more interesting device like smart TV, which was used as a device for internet access by 6.2% of the individuals.

The percentage of users, however, drops when it comes to basic e-services such as e-government.

Only 18.4% used the global network to interact with the public administration’s websites (15.0%), followed by the share of individuals who downloaded official forms (9.3%) and those who submitted completed forms (6.5%) in the last twelve months.

The share of individuals who bought or ordered goods or services for private use over the internet reached 16.6%1. Most active in online shopping were individuals aged 16 - 24 years and 25 - 34 years with relative shares respectively 31.1% and 29.9%, and only 1.3% of individuals aged 65 - 74 years purchased online.

With regard to e-skills, the survey showed that 38.5% of the individuals were able to copy or move files or folders, and 25.7% worked with word processing software. The relative shares of the individuals who managed to install software or applications (14.4%), created presentations (14.0%) or used spreadsheet software (14.1%) were almost equal. Only 1.0% of the individuals indicated that they wrote code in a programming language.

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