Internet use rises in HK homes, study finds

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2012, 12:00am


Home internet access has seen strong growth in the past decade and is now part and parcel of life in Hong Kong, government statistics show.

Almost four out of five homes were connected to the internet in 2010, compared with only half with web access in 2001, the Census and Statistics Department found in a household survey.

The figures indicated the web was increasingly reaching out to grass-roots residents in their homes, said Charles Mok, founding chairman of the Internet Society of Hong Kong.

'It shows that the internet is no longer just for the middle class and above,' Mok said. 'There's been a significant increase of users in public housing, among more grass-roots people and senior residents ... It's become like the television or telephone - like a utility.'

The report, published yesterday, showed 1.8 million households in 2010 had their personal computers hooked up online, comprising 76.4 per cent of total households.

That compared with only 48.7 per cent of homes that had internet-linked computers in 2001.

Web users were also more likely to be connected via mobile devices than fixed broadband access, the report said.

Last year, among 100 people in Hong Kong, 104 mobile devices were connected to mobile broadband networks, compared with 32 that used fixed broadband subscriptions, the report said.

The figures indicated many people owned more than one phone. Hong Kong's mobile phone penetration rate is one of the highest in the world, at 193.2 per cent.

The city's internet penetration rate is in the world's top 50, at 68.7 per cent, according to data compiled by the Miniwatts Marketing Group in late 2011. The figure is on a par with Taiwan, but lags the US, South Korea and a handful of Scandinavian countries which top the chart.