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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 14:09 GMT
Internet mosaic continues to grow
Monk with laptop
All ages, cultures and religions are embracing the net
The internet is continuing to boom, despite the current global recession, according to research from analyst firm IDC.

Despite doom mongers predicting the death of the net in the light of recession and slowdown in the tech industry, by the end of this year 600 million people will be online, says the report.

However the idea that the global village created by the internet will be homogenous is mistaken, says vice president of IDC's global research organisation Carol Glasheen.

"In effect, instead of the internet normalising worldwide variations, it has become a reflection of the many geographies, cultures, economics and political conditions that exist in the offline world," she said.

This internet mosaic means businesses must be careful to understand the variations and complexities of net use in each country if they are to utilise its full potential, she said.

Many access devices

Worldwide e-commerce spending grew 68% between 2000 and 2001, generating $600 billion by the end of last year.

Internet users are all ages, all education levels and all occupations and are not just logging on via PC but from web TVs, handheld computers and mobile phones.

Not everywhere is equal though. In South Africa the majority of the 2.3 million internet users have high standards of living.

In America however the internet is becoming a way of life with approximately 80% of the population using the internet at least once a month by 2006.

See also:

11 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
China net use soars
07 Feb 02 | Americas
Internet in half US households
05 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
Listening to the web on the radio
28 Jan 02 | UK
UK web surfers increase
23 Jan 02 | Business
Kenya braves the mobile internet
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