A report by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, shows that more than 100 million European Union citizens have never been online.
In the UK, Martha Lane Fox has been given the task of getting the 8.7 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet to go online for the first time and recently launched a campaign, part of ‘Race Online 2012’, to encourage people to use the hour when the clocks went back to help a friend or relative to get connected to the web.
Nine out of 10 new jobs apparently now require online applications and people who are computer and internet savvy tend to command better salaries, up to 10% more. Airline bookings, shopping, car hire and countless other things are now tied to having internet access of some sort, although not necessarily in the home in most cases, and a basic knowledge of the internet is becoming almost essential in some areas of life.
The Eurostat figures show that more than half of the Romanian population do not have internet access at home and only 45 per cent of the Bulgarian population are connected to the web. At the other end of the scale, 94 per cent of Dutch homes are connected to the internet.