Half of Europe online, but youngsters don't want to pay

More than half of Europe's citizens now use the internet regularly, 80% of them via a high-speed connection, the European Commission's Digital Competitiveness report published today revealed.

More than half of Europe's citizens now use the internet regularly, 80% of them via a high-speed connection, the European Commission's Digital Competitiveness report published today revealed.

But the European Commission believes there is more to do, and today launched a public consultation on the way forward.

The commission study found that Europeans under the age of 24 - the "digital generation" - are reluctant to pay for downloads or to view online content such as videos or music. One-third of this age group said they are not willing to pay anything at all.

But 10% of young users had paid for online content, compared with an EU average of 5% across all ages. They were also more willing to pay for better service and quality .

One-third of EU citizens still have not used the internet, the study said, and only 7% of consumers have shopped online in another member state.

"Europe is still behind the US and Japan in R&D investments in information and communication technologies (ICT), high-speed broadband communications, and developing innovative markets like online advertising," it said.

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