MORE PORTUGUESE people have internet access, but the country is still below the European average for the technology.
Last year 36 per cent of families in Portugal had home internet access and 45 per cent of households owned personal computers, according to a survey by leading Portuguese market intelligence company, IDC.
A total of 998 families took part in the survey and although the number of homes in Portugal with a computer and internet access has risen sharply, the figure remains below the European average, says the survey.
Broadband now represents three quarters of internet access market among homeowners, while dial up connections, which represented the majority in 2003, have seen a significant reduction.
Lisbon was top of the list for the number of homes with a personal computer, 84 per cent, and 72 per cent of those families surveyed had access to the internet, 81 per cent using broadband.
At the other end of the scale was the Baixo Alentejo, where the survey revealed that only seven per cent of families had a home computer and only five per cent of those had an internet connection.
In Porto, 53 per cent of homes had a computer and 40 per cent had internet access, three quarters of which used broadband.
In 2005, there was a total of 1.3 million domestic internet connections in Portugal and the IDC predicts this number will rise to 2.1 million by 2010, which represents an 11 per cent increase per year.
It also predicts that dial up connections will decrease by 25 per cent per year, meaning that there will likely be less than 70,000 by 2010.
The IDC estimated that the total number of people using the internet in Portugal reached 4.9 million in 2005 and predicts a 10 per cent increase per year by 2010, meaning that there will be almost eight million internet users (private and companies).