Tue, Jan 02, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Nation’s Internet usage rates hit record highs: poll

Staff writer

Local Internet usage rates hit record highs among the general public as well as smartphone users last year, according to the National Development Council’s (NDC) Individual/Household Digital Opportunity Survey for the year.

The survey, released on Friday, showed that 82.3 percent of people aged over 12 had used the Internet, up 2.6 percentage points from 2016 and an increase of nearly 20 percentage points since 2005.

The survey found that 87.4 percent of smartphone users had browsed the Internet, up from 83.1 percent a year earlier and indicating that smartphones have created new growth in the number of people online.

The 50-to-59 age group’s Internet use increased the most, with usage rates increasing from 74.1 percent in 2016 to 83.3 percent last year, the council said.

In general, the Internet usage rates of the age groups below 50, which the council dubbed “the Internet generations,” were close to or exceeded last year’s 96 percent.

In terms of online social interaction, the survey indicated that Web users were very active in both one-way and two-way activity.

Most netizens used instant messaging software or social networking (96.8 percent) last year, followed by Internet telephony (86.3 percent), watching movies, listening to music (84.6 percent) and searching for information related to daily life or news (84.4 percent), the survey showed.

Among those engaging in economic activities, 61.3 percent of respondents said they had searched online for commodity information and prices, 59.2 percent bought something online, 33.2 percent used online banking services and 10.1 percent made mobile payments.

The survey, which sampled 9,337 respondents, was conducted by telephone from Aug. 22 to Sept. 29.

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