Cyber access big business

CASH PROVISION: Alfredo Saenz Abad, CEO of Santander bank.

FOR many, living without internet access would be like living in limbo.

But only 32 per cent of adults in 148 countries could access the internet in 2011, a Gallup poll revealed, although this did not necessarily imply a home connection. 

In Spain, 70 per cent of adults had an internet connection, the poll found, and 62 per cent of Spanish homes had broadband in 2011, according to INE, Spain’s statistics office.

And that means there is still huge potential for growth for internet providers in Spain.

Internet access influences a nation’s productivity and economic strength, Gallup researchers said. The greater the prosperity, the wider the internet access and the greater the opportunity to buy and sell online.

Only 1 per cent of adults accessed the internet in Burundi, Haiti and Mali, three of the world’s poorest countries.  In contrast, Sweden and Singapore topped the Gallup list with 93 per cent, followed by Denmark (92 per cent).

The largest economies tend to fall between two extremes, Gallup found.  In the US, the world’s largest economy, 80 per cent accessed the internet. So did 73 per cent of the Japanese and 77 per cent of Germans.

Things were very different in China – the world’s second-largest economy – with only 34 per cent.  Russia and Brazil did better with a respective 51 and 40 per cent.

Ironically, India’s IT industry is booming but with a yawning gulf between rich and poor, just 3 per cent of the population could access the internet.

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