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One-quarter of Germans avoiding the internet

DPA/The Local · 8 Jul 2010, 14:30

Published: 08 Jul 2010 14:30 GMT+02:00

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Some 19 million Germans, or 28 percent of those over 14, have never logged on to the World Wide Web before, the Initiative D21 said in Berlin.

The largest group of “offliners” are elderly women, the group found.

Some 24 percent of study participants over 14 admitted that they did not use the internet and had no plans to do so in the future.

“Many Germans have a fear of the internet, there is a certain mistrust there,” initiative member Robert Wieland said.

While the study, based on responses from 30,000 representative citizens, showed a drop in new internet users since the last annual study, the overall average of 72 percent is still double the use measured in the first survey a decade ago.

Study trends showed that web surfing dropped with age and increased with education, but there was also a gender gap, with some 30 percent fewer elderly women logging in than their male counterparts.

Income was also a factor, but not as much as it has been in previous years. For the first time ever, the percentage of web users from households that earned a take-home pay of less than €1,000 per month rose above the 50 percent mark.

Regional differences between former East and West Germany were still apparent, though.

“The east is limping behind the west,” Wieland said.

The majority (almost 69 percent) of Germans have access to fast broadband, with DSL the country's most popular (43 percent) type of internet connection.

The parliamentary liaison to the Economy Ministry, Hans-Joachim Otto, said the study would help the government increase the country’s “digital competence.”

Story continues below…

“Together we will fill the digital gaps,” he said, adding that this included increasing online security.

Berlin plans to bring broadband internet to the entire country, he said.

“We believe we are on the right path to reach that goal,” he added.

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Your comments about this article

15:57 July 8, 2010 by jinxgelb
At least those 30 per cent of the elderly women do not need to worry about being robbed via online-banking or suspected of espionage or terroristic activities ... :-)
16:22 July 8, 2010 by Beachrider
Just one question. Did the writer have the picture and wrote the story around it?

I love the picture!
17:06 July 8, 2010 by grazhdanin
One still cannot get a broadband internet access in many - mostly rural - parts of Germany, and in some instances not even inside towns. Many of those who want to use the internet cannot use it because of this simple reason (an exisiting 56k analogue or ISDN dial-up connection not really being an incentive to go online all too often, except for maybe checking one's email once in a while).
18:27 July 8, 2010 by NYsteve
And even if you get broadband service....there are other variables that are so FRUSTRATING!! I have a friend in Kaiserslautern and she can't get on the internet more than half the time. She says it's the wiring in the building she lives in but I'm not sure. I find it so hard to believe that a country so technologically advanced as Germany...that people can't get on the internet. Another friend in Deidesheim has trouble with getting or sending emails outside of Germany..and his business relies on international service. Too many coincidences between the two. The cities aren't far apart...relatively close...but it makes me think it is the internet in general and not the building they are in.
18:40 July 8, 2010 by lordkorner
So I guess they won't be reading this article.
18:56 July 8, 2010 by pepsionice
I lived in Kaiserslautern for fifteen years. DSL finally came to my village around six years ago. There's a limit to the number of folks though...in the village....who can sign up (I was quick about this). There are still villages around the region which don't offer DSL. As for the wiring issue.....it all depends on the wiring being from the past fifteen years and upgraded. If your apartment house was built in 1960 and has never been upgraded on cabling leading in....you might have issues.
23:14 July 8, 2010 by ReaderX
As long as it is not cost effective for the cable companies to lay the line down then it probably won't get better. I mean if it costs more to install it then will be made back in x amount of time why bother?

As pepsionice stated old building with old cabling won't work. Considering the way buildings and homes are made here with solid walls it's not worth the cost for the owner to upgrade.
15:06 July 9, 2010 by biker hotel harz
This does not surprise me at all. Germany is a third world country
02:49 July 10, 2010 by judahsmommy
Wow.... with much Germany boasts about their cars, they can't even get internet across the whole country. Which I might add is only the size of Montana. At least here in America we have internet access almost everywhere and we are waaaayyyy bigger than you guys!
09:03 July 11, 2010 by bkc
I just moved to Germany in January of 2010 from Mississippi in the USA. While I had a high speed internet connection, TV Cable, I had several friends in the area that could only get very slow dial up or a very expensive and unreliable satellite internet connection. DSL/high speed internet is not available in all areas of the USA yet. In February of this year, the US Commerce Department released data stating that roughly 40% of American households do not have broadband internet access available to them. And with the internet speed requirements of most modern websites, if you dont have broadband, the internet is almost useless.
16:10 July 22, 2010 by beckyhead
Infrastructure is a huge problem in this country. Telekom is infuriating!!! You can live next door to somebody who has high speed DSL with TV while you are stuck in the stone age with either dial-up or a lousy 768kbs connection. Telekom is to blame for this. They own and lease the "wires" to competitors (i.e. Vodaphone), and those competitors cannot offer you anything better. The German government needs to step in and fix the Telekom monopoloy, and invest in better broadband technologies that can reach those in less urban areas.
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