67% of Brazilians Never Surfed the Internet, 54% Never Used a Computer

A study prepared by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee released yesterday, November 8. shows that 67% of Brazilians, 125 million people, never had a chance to experience the Internet while 54% (101 million) were never able to use a computer.

According to the report, 44.12% of those interviewed say they have no need or interest in the Internet while 57.25% admit that the reason for not having tried the Internet is the fact they don’t have a computer at home.

67.55% mention a computer’s high price as the main reason for them not having one. Another 31.7% complain about the high cost of Internet access.

Poverty, the study shows, is the main obstacle to a more democratic digital inclusion in Brazil. Says Sérgio Santanna, a computer advisor: "Our social inequalities are reflected in the survey, but we can already notice some improvements when compared to last year’s results."

"With these results," stated Santanna,  "we wish to provide strategic information to give an impulse to the net development, ensuring the population access to this important infrastructure and to the services and benefits offered by it."

According to NIC.br (Dot br Information and Coordination Nucleus), the study conducted between July and August 2006 used standard methodology approved by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Communities), which makes the data comparable internationally.

The study interviewed 10,510 residences all around the country. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.5% nationally and plus or minus 5% regionally.

While 97% of all Brazilian residences have TV sets and 49.7% rely on fixed-line phones, only 19.6% have a computer at home. The situation is a little better in the South and Southeast where 25% of the population have a computer. In the northeastern and north regions this numbers falls to 8.5% and 10% respectively.

The study also shows that only 28.64% of those who surf the Net use broadband.

When compared to last year’s data, there are 2 million more homes  and 8.1 million more people with a computer. Internet access has also grown in the last 12 months, with close to 1.5 million new residences linked to the Internet.

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