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Internet at Home: To Have or Not to Have?

The Internet has truly become the “world wide web”. But, not everyone in the world uses it (yet), including at home, and there are multiple reasons that may play into this as new ReportLinker data show.

Reasons for not having Internet access at home include the belief that it’s too expensive, the perspective that it’s not really needed, and the concern that it’s a conduit for a massive invasion of privacy.

But, still another reason why someone might not have Internet access at home is a lack of infrastructure. This notion is suggested by one set of data showing percentages of European households with the highest share of households with internet access. Among the 15 nations in the set, 13 of them are among the Northern or Western Euronations. Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherland have the highest share of households with an internet connection in Europe (97%), followed by Denmark and Sweden (94%) and the UK with 93%.   

This set stands in contrast to the one which shows the nations with people who never used the internet. Turkey ranks first with 39% of people who never used the internet. Its is closely followed by Bulgaria (33%) and Romania (30%).

In the EU28 nations’, Internet access at home is easy to acquire. Through 2017, only about 4% of single adults living on their own didn’t have access to Internet access in their homes.

Global Internet usage is on the rise steadily and among those households who choose not to have an internet subscription, 46% stated that it’s because it’s just not needed there. Why modern households with decent incomes would not feel any need to have Internet access at home may include the concept that it’s not worth the cost when Internet can be accessed in public places (such as libraries), at the office, via smartphone,  at municipal “hotspots” etc… .

What’s more, 23% of households said that they chose not to have Internet because its too expensive.

Another telling figure: 12% of European households stated that they don’t care about having Internet access at home because it’s so easy to access elsewhere. Many of them must think to themselves, “Why should I pay for Internet access at home when I can have it at the local coffee shop for free?”

If we look at the Americans, we find yet more revealing data in a large nation where the Internet, too, is large among the populace.

The Americans, as they so often do, offer a European-rooted but at once wholly unique perspective. For instance, as ReportLinker uncovered: “Today, even though half of Americans subscribe to Internet service through their cable company, many others are choosing alternative ways to connect. Almost 40% of Americans say they use their smartphone to access the Internet at home…In the same way mobile phones have replaced landlines, they appear to be poised to eradicate the wireless router.” That sentiment resonates or aligns with those particular European demographic groups who find good reasons (at least to them) not to go to the trouble of getting Internet access in their homes.

One thing that’s clear is modern people aren’t shying away from Internet access simply because they’re afraid of computers: only 6% of people feel they lack the skills to use the internet.  On the flip side of the coin, a small but consistent number of European households eschew the Internet out of fear of privacy invasions: 9% admit they have security concerns when using the web.   We uncover similar but displaced worries across the Atlantic. Americans today are more fearful of people being targeted by a cyberattack than ever: 82% of Americans feel cyberattacks are more of a threat now than they were five years ago.

To sum it up, privacy concerns don’t appear to prevent adults from choosing Internet access at home. Household income, demographics, and culture appear to play bigger roles in the decision-making.