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Central and Eastern Europe Internet Use

Internet research firm Nielsen/Net Ratings has released its Eurovision study of internet trends in emerging internet markets in central and eastern Europe. Its research finds that 93 percent of these internet users access the web from home, compared to 47 percent from work, 26 percent from educational institutions and 19 percent from internet cafes.

Specific country studies showed that internet users in Hungary, at 97 percent, are most likely to access the internet from home. Greeks use the internet most from work (67 percent), and Bulgarians are the most frequent online users at internet cafes (47 percent) and libraries (16 percent). The study found that Austrians access the internet from the greatest variety of locations.

With regard to devices used to access the internet, Lithuanian users are the most likely to access the internet from games consoles (12 percent), mobile phones (42 percent), PDAs (12 percent) and kiosks (8 percent). In contrast, 96 percent of Hungarian users access the internet via a desktop computer. Bulgaria leads the laptop access market (44 percent), and Latvia leads in digital TV internet access (19 percent).

Nielsen's research, conducted between 1 July and 8 November 2005, further reveals that these developing markets are catching up to Western Europe. For example, Lithuanians are now more than three times as likely to surf the web using a PDA than their UK counterparts. Similarly, users in the Ukraine are more likely to engage in online activities such as researching family history than those in the UK.

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