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European Silver Surfers Adopt Broadband
By: MarkJ - 24 July, 2007 (1:08 PM)

New research from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) has found that 68% of people over 55 years old (Silver Surfers) have a broadband connection.

Broadband adoption amongst silver surfers is now growing at a faster rate than the average European Internet user (26% year on year growth compared to 14%):

This older demographic now spends an average of 8.8 hours online per week - a growth of 18% since 2004 - and 78% of the time they spend online is for personal reasons rather than work. One in four log on to the internet in a typical week and weekend use is growing at a rate of 19% year on year.

The internet is quickly becoming a key communication tool for this generation and they are developing a much deeper level of involvement with online content. Use of online forums has seen significant growth of 113% since 2005, with 17% of silver surfers now regularly visiting these sites. The research also dispels the myth that social networking is the domain of the young, nearly one in five (18%) visit sites such as MySpace and Bebo at least once a month - not that far behind the younger digital generation (16-34 year old internet users), 28% of whom regularly access social networking sites.

Making the most of the convenience and costs savings of VoIP is becoming rapidly more popular with this older generation. 14% now regularly make calls over the internet, illustrating 100% year on year growth and further evidence that this group are becoming ever more tech savvy.

Silver surfers are also making the most of the entertainment available online. 21% now listen to the radio online, 7% have downloaded TV programmes and films 40% year on year growth since 2005 and 7% are enjoying online gaming.

Using email and carrying out searches online seems to be second nature, with 83% regularly carrying out both activities. Keeping up to date with current affairs and news is also important, with nearly two thirds of silver surfers visiting online news sites (61%).

The study involved 7,036 random telephone interviews with over 1,000 respondents in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordics respectively. Not to mention 500 respondents in Belgium and the Netherlands.


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