The number of households in possession of a high-speed Internet connection increased considerably in 2004. Half of households with access to the Internet have a cable or ADSL broadband connection. In 2003 only one-third had a high-speed connection to the Internet in 2003.
More Internet connections
The share of households with access to the Internet at home rose from just over 60 percent in 2003 to 65 percent in 2004. Four in every five households could only connect to the Internet via a computer. One in five households had more options, for example, a cellphone or handheld computer.
Rapid increase ADSL connections
Approximately half of all Internet connections in households with access to the Internet are broadband connections via cable or ADSL. Only one third of households had such a high-speed connection in 2003. The amount of ADSL connections has grown quickly in recent years. Currently, 20 percent of households connected to the Internet have opted for ADSL, twice the amount in 2003. The increase in broadband cable or ADSL connections led to a reduction in relatively slow analogue dial-up connections but the share of ISDN connections also declined.
Households with access to the Internet by type of connection
Broadband Internet: the Netherlands holds third place in Europe
Iceland stands out in Europe: no less than 45 percent of Icelandic households had broadband access to the Internet in 2004, followed by Denmark with 36 percent and the Netherlands with 32 percent.
Households with broadband Internet in some European countries
More and more time spent behind the computer
Three-quarters of the Dutch population in the age category 12 years and older regularly used a PC, be it at home, on the job, at school or elsewhere. They averaged 16 hours a week behind the computer, one hour more than in 2003 and two hours more than in 2002. In total, 66 percent of the Dutch population regularly spent time on the Internet compared to 62 percent in 2003. Users of the Internet averaged 7 hours a week online in 2004, the same amount of time as in the previous year. They spent most of the time checking their e-mail, sending e-mails and surfing the Net in search of specific information.
Use of the Internet by activity
Online shopping on the increase
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. In 2003 one quarter of Internet users ordered goods or services online, their number rose to 32 percent in 2004. Booking holidays online in particular became more popular.