Paltry interest in internet

Austrians are showing the least interest in going online among all European countries, a survey has shown.

Austrian magazine profil reports Austrians surf the internet just 14 hours a month which is half the European average. People living in the Netherlands are at the top with 35.2 monthly internet hours. Britons come second (33.9 hours), with residents of Turkey in third. They go online 31.8 hours a month, according to profil.

The internet representations of US companies Google and Microsoft – which focus on search function services – were found most popular with Europeans. Facebook comes third. The global leader among social networking platforms has nearly 700 million registered users worldwide and around 2.6 million in Austria. Energy drink giant Red Bull is the most popular Austrian company on Facebook which could have one billion users in August 2012 if figures keep developing the way they have done in recent months.

Political leaders across the country are reacting to the increasing demand for free wireless internet access. The Greens are reportedly keen on setting up a free of charge wireless local area network (WLAN) at the Donauinsel (Danube Island), a large recreation area in Vienna, next year. Before reports suggesting that the city government coalition member faction had such plans were published, the Viennese Social Democrats (SPÖ) said they had no intention to facilitate buses and trams with WLAN. People’s Party (ÖVP) official Sebastian Kurz called on the party of Mayor Michael Häupl to do so.

Only recently, Salzburg decision-makers gave residents and visitors the opportunity to go online with their laptops and smartphones at three popular places in the ancient city centre. People interested in the service have to register, SPÖ Mayor Heinz Schaden explained in April. “We do not want the offer to be abused by people surfing on sexist and pornographic websites and any other sort of disputed contents,” he explained.