According to Ibope/NetRatings statistics for the year 2008 published in the business daily Valor, Brazil has 43 million Internet users. Brazil is expected to end 2009 with some 50 million people having Internet access, the equivalent of close to 26% of the population.
The number of cybernauts could be even greater since the statistics included only people over 16 with Web access from home, workplaces, schools, libraries and Internet cafes, the newspaper said.
"The last two years were periods of very strong growth for the Internet, a phase that won't be repeated in 2009, but the country will undoubtedly keep up a good rhythm of increased access," the coordinator of the technology research center of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Fernando Meirelles, told Valor.
The growth in the number of Brazilian cybernauts comes chiefly from the poorest sectors that previously had no access to the technology, as well as by the increase in points of access in the home.
Up to last November, the number of people living in places where there was a computer with Internet access increased to 38.2 million, a 73% growth over the last two years, according to Ibope figures.
Of the cybernauts, 59% say they have Web access in their homes, compared with 21% at work, 15% in Internet cafes and similar establishments and 4% at school.
With regard to frequency of access, 44% said they visit the Web several times a day, 20% once or twice a week, 19% at least once a day, 12% three to five times a week and 5% a few times a week.