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Europe Net Users Now Outnumber US/Canada

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the and-there's-no-signs-of-stopping dept.

News 582

palefish writes "From this article in the Media Guardian: According to Irish-based industry monitor, Europe has almost 186 million users, while Canada and the US register 182 million. The difference may not seem substantial, but Europe is still a growing market. I've always thought of Europe as lagging somewhat behind the States in the internet uptake stakes (probably because some of our telecoms companies are yet to understand the internet). So, I don't know about you lot, but this statistic came as a bit of a surprise to me."

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Yeah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227644)

FP baby! In yer face!

first fucking post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227646)


hmmmm (1)

Arminius (84868) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227648)

Maybe there are some lessons we in the States can learn from our European friends!

Re:hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227722)


We can learn not to embrace socialism, and then we won't ever find ourselves lagging 5 years behind when a new technology appears.

And we could also learn to provide a real health care system and to prevent lawyers from making doctors lives hell but that's a lot harder.

Re:hmmmm (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227833)

"We can learn not to embrace socialism, and then we won't ever find ourselves lagging 5 years behind when a new technology appears. And we could also learn to provide a real health care system and to prevent lawyers from making doctors lives hell but that's a lot harder."

I just find it funny that you bash socialism in one sentence, and in the next, you imply you want gov't-provided healthcare, which is a socialist invention.

Re:hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227895)

"We can learn not to embrace socialism, and then we won't ever find ourselves lagging 5 years behind when a new technology appears. "

Got a mobile phone yet? A modern one, not some lame AM piece of crap the size of a house brick?

The US is not ahead in technology (1)

mwjlewis (602559) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227656)

This is not a suprising fact. The US is not ahead in technology. They have cell phones that make our look like 900mhz cordless.

Hmm... (0)

Tha_Chaotic_1 (536253) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227659)

Does anyone know of any other statistics showing the rise of this trend?

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227665)

Wonder if this explains why so many telecoms are going belly-up -- Americans aren't "getting it".

More 'Net users in Europe than North America (1)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227666)

I think the numbers are off. We here in the states have figured out how to use NAT, and have many people sharing one connection. Add to that the number of people raping the providers by sharing wireless access points and you will see that we far outnumber the Euros.

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227687)

yeah, sure. What makes you think Europe doesnt do the same ?

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (1)

Izeickl (529058) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227688)

Not saying that you are wrong, but unless you know how they measured the results how can you simply assume that their wrong? Your post is pure speculation on the use of NAT and wireless, both of which exist in Europe you know.

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (3, Interesting)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227889)

While it's true that you can't make projections about someone else's figures without knowing anything about how the data was collected, i'm halfway willing to call all the numbers pretty bogus unless they came up with a pretty brilliant way to collect the data.

There are scores of people that only have internet access at work and are really 'net users but probably not counted. NAT and wireless are technologies that call the numbers into doubt and also, there is no real way to count users on all the various home or home office setup LANS. Also, there are millions of college students that don't have net access in their dorms (or off campus residences) but have access through college computer labs. The same applies to high school students. Factor in internet cafes, kinkos and the like and you can begin to see that it would be quite difficult to gauge an 'actual' number of internet users.

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227749)

Good afternoon, Mr Troll.

One URL [] should solve your question.

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227804)

Is this meant to be a joke? Maybe I'm missing the humour, or perhaps it's just incredibly arrogant.

Perhaps we know about NAT as well....


Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (1)

rash (83406) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227854)

I connect to the internet through nat.
(I dont like it, but thats the way it is)
And I live in sweden. so... your point is flawed

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (2)

joestar (225875) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227873)

Actually we also use NAT muchly (maybe more than in the USA, because here in Europe Internet access is rather expensive), and WiFi is getting very popular here as well.

Re:More 'Net users in Europe than North America (2)

Rob.Mathers (527086) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227878)

Another case of someone needed to be reminded that Slashdot != the rest of the world. Most people, and most internet users, don't even know what NAT stands for, nevermind how to set it up. While it is certainly possible that it affects the results of the survey, it would not have affected the survey all that much. Even then, there is probably a comparable amount of NATed users in Europe as well.

ummm...a little fishy (2, Interesting)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227671)

Ok, this coming from a european based company?
According to Irish-based industry monitor,
That's like me saying that I did a study that shows that I'm the best.

Re:ummm...a little fishy (2)

RatFink100 (189508) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227697)

That logic only holds if more = better

Re:ummm...a little fishy (2)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227813)

in my case that holds true..I must be the best. :)

/me looks down at his stomach...

Re:ummm...a little fishy (3, Funny)

Ford Fulkerson (223443) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227880)

That logic only holds if more = better

Well, I'm sure I've heard somewhere that size matters. Can't remember where at the moment, try Google.

Oh come on, this is a little easy (2)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227765)

And what would you (or they) say if the same survey was made by a US company? If the company is reputable, that shouldn't change a thing to the results.

Re:ummm...a little fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227773)

Well then - who would you consider neutral?

Re:ummm...a little fishy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227830)

Population on of Europe is > 700M, polulation of North America is arond 300M.

You do the math.

makes sence... (0)

thoolie (442789) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227674)

This makes very good sence due to the fact the in europe, there is no FCC holding back the use of broadband over the wireless freqs. People in Europe are already getting near broadband speed over their cell phones, we in the US are barely able to get higher than 9800 baud, if we are lucky, i am still on a analog signal! Hell, there was even an article a few weeks ago about people in finland (i think) trying to get internet over the power, if only i could handle not speeking english and living off of fish and beer.....if only.....

Re:makes sence... (0)

BobMcGrae (469093) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227738)

scotland, maybe finland as well I don't know but definatly scotland.

My euroangst filled poem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227675)

Rain, Raining

The rain is raining,
Falling into place.
Like a small community,
Running down my face.

It's raining me,
Fall from the sky.
Knowing when I hit the ground,
I will surely die.

The rain has come,
From the land over seas.
Attacking the living,
Like a swarm of killer bees.

Rain is wet,
Maneuverable in every way.
Rain helps life grow,
No matter what the "fuck" you say.

BAH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227676)

Always seems like everyone else is getting first posts, and I'm not. I blame Rob Malda and his fucking 20 second filter. Oh well...there's always ways around that, for effective trolling!

Not surprising (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227677)

Given that Europe has more people that the USA/Canada, this is not surprising.

Don't believe everything you read... (0, Troll)

jsonmez (544764) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227680)

I would SERIOUSLY doubt this is true. Those of you who have web pages, look at your web stats, where are most people coming from? US probably. I know my webstats still show majority from US. I would like to know what this company based that research on, sounds really bogus to me.

Language issues (3, Informative)

MungoBBQ (524032) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227768)

Umm... Let me guess - your site is in English? Yeah, Europeans speak more than one language you know. You have to think of all the sites out there in French, Italian, Polish, Swedish, German, etc.

Your statement is like me saying "My Swedish web site has more than 95% Swedish visitors, therefore us Swedes must make up 95% of all Internet users, woohoo!"

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (4, Insightful)

a2800276 (50374) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227771)

You probably have a US-based webpage, which would account for the number of hits coming from the US. If that's the instrument I would use to measure net population, I'd have to assume that Internet users are composed of nearly 100% Germans, cause the hits on my German site are nearly all from Germany.

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (4, Interesting)

Rob.Mathers (527086) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227782)

While your webstats might be originating mostly from the US, that is hardly representative of the population of the web. Perhaps your site doesn't have anything of interest to Europeans.
Think about your web activity, I suspect that you mostly visit US- or North America-centric sites. Wouldn't the logical conclusion therefore be that most Europeans mostly visit European-centric sites?

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (3, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227783)

Um, unless you're using geolocation to detect those sites, using things like looking for '.com' and '.net' is highly unreliable. Almost every European company will try to get the .com as well as the local country code domain, and .org/.net as well for that matter...


Re:Don't believe everything you read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227785)

If I look at all my pages the .ca/.us/.mx is no where near the numbers of the European countries, just becuse it's .com does not mean it's US.

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (4, Interesting)

Draoi (99421) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227791)

There may be a significant difference between 'users on-line' and the amount of surfing individuals. Thanks to our punitive [] telco [] here in Ireland, I'm severly limited as to my on-line time as our dialup charges are metered per-minute. *And* we've yet to get decent broadband! There may be more users on-line per-capita (I doubt that, too) but they're not on-line as long & thus not hitting as many URLs. Long-winded, but do you see my point?

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227869)

You can't rely on web stats like you seem to imply you can. Not everyone in this world can read/speak english so theres no point in a person who falls into the above to goto a webpage that is only in english. As is the case for webpages done in a language you don't speak. I can't remember last time I went to a page done in Russian language just so that I could be utterly confused.

Now with that said only place I could think of that would have even anywhere remotely near a good representation of the geographical break down would be google as its done in many languages making it highly likely that they've got a better representation of information along this line. Even then you can't base "statics" off such a thing as that because I know personally I barely use google myself and I'm sure theres a ton of others who don't even know google exists.

Re:Don't believe everything you read... (2, Interesting)

colinleroy (592025) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227879)

I know my webstats still show majority from US
How do you know ? whois on the IPs ? .com, .net and .org aren't necessarily US sites. It depends on your website's language, too - one of mine's in French, 34% of the visits come from .fr domain names. On my english site, only 9% come from .fr.

Jumping some steps (1)

hofer (84209) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227682)

I guess here in Europe we jumped some of the development steps and could deploy some newer technologies faster.

On the other hand, telecom in general might be more expensive here, so the telcos can offer Internet service "for free", ie. the price of the call itself.

well it's just absolute numbers .. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227684)

get me the relative numbers!

182 vs. 186 says nothing if you don't know how many live on each continent.

Re:well it's just absolute numbers .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227856)

The proportion is still higher in the US - US: 260 Million EU: 350 Million.

In other news (0, Flamebait)

nege (263655) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227691)

In other news, 77% of all Americans think Europeans are wusses based on a poll just made up by me.

Re:In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227717)

Define a wuss?

Elegant, smart and witty?

Why the surprise? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227692)

The population of Europe (EU) is about double that of US & Canada, head up arse perhaps?

Of course, this is not regarding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227693)

the use of increasingly costly phone lines. Europe users have to pay the internet access PLUS the cost of the local phone call. They pay the price we pay for broadband and only get dial-up access. And they pay double for broadband.

Re:Of course, this is not regarding... (1)

orki (598146) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227784)

thats long history the double price was about 3 years ago... Broadband ADSL are more spread than in us cable is available also the sat links... and in the big citys there are first projects to bring fibre to the public ... but its true internet is still more expensive than in US cause backbone traffic is more expensive here and europe is not one big country so there are hundreds of small providers... they cannot make this chrap offers but they come...

Big Deal (1, Insightful)

code addict (312283) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227695)

Personally, I don't think this is a big deal. How many countries make up Europe? How many people are in those countries? And they're comparing all those to just two countries in North America?

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227795)

Woah, you can count up to two.

Clever =)

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227872)

yes, but USA count 52 states

Re:Big Deal (1)

splateagle (557203) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227860)

the article doesn't specify but at the widest definitaion 'Europe' covers 47 countries (look at and count the 'country profiles') compare this to the individual States in the US rather than the 'country' and you'll probably get a more accurate comparison of scale.

It might also be worth considering that many of those 47 countries are former Eastern block nations and hardly match up to the US in terms of economic prosperity.

All in all if it's accurate I'd say this is a *very* interesting survey...

So we can't trust this poll either? (3, Interesting)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227699)

Perhaps this poll [] wasn't representative either, then.

Re:So we can't trust this poll either? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227751)

ah, but that's among slashdot users, not internet users. Also, most /.'ers are from the US. Also, most of NA speaks/understands English, while the majority of Europeans speak/understand non-English languages. Yes, a lot do speak English over there, but they're still outnumbered by the non-English speakers.

USA is NOT the World (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227702)

It should be a surprise because you think that all
is USA.

So you have discovered USA is not the center of the universe and SO??

Misleading Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227704)

This statistic includes the number of users that access the Internet via SMS gateways and thier cell phones. Considering NUA's stake in European Internet Adoption, it isn't at all surprising that they would try to pass this number off as accurate.

I don't have the links, but I remember that they tried something similar in late 2001.

Could be an interesting opportunity.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227709)

It could be a very profitable opportunity, for any young, IT people that are looking for work. I know it'd be one hell of a culture shock, but I suppose we all understand the international language of geek?

a thought (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227715)

in Linus's book "Just for Fun" he tells how Finland is often all over the latest/greatest technology product and how everyone understands technology at a reasonable level. From the sounds of this article, it seems that the rest of Europe is the same way, especially given the amount of prosperity over there being greater than that of many parts of North America. Hence, NA, despite being way larger in population, has a much less percentage of people who are tech savvy. I wouldnt blame this entirely on US telecoms, as independent dial up ISPs (and AOL) are available nationwide (the real definition, not Sprint's def). If it were amount of broadband usage that were less, then yes, US telecoms take a large chunk of the blame.

Re:a thought (1)

money_shot (301137) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227799)

Mmmm... the population of Europe (just the EU) is about 20% greater than the US.

tee hee... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227718)

the american /.'ers are going to go apeshit ! can't wait to read the thread !

Spelling and grammar troll v1.5 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227724)

It has come to my attention that "slashdot", subsidiary of VA Software, is a refuge for people with a terrible sense for grammar and spelling. As a remediation, please accept the following recommendations about the use of some frequent linguistic expressions :
  • "Alot" vs. "A lot" : There is no such word as alot. In fact, when confronted with the word alot, ispell tells us the following : "how about : allot,aloe,aloft, alto, blot, clot, lot, plot, slot"
  • Just the fact moronic Americans pronounce Bernstein, neither, Einstein and other 'ei'-words as "Burnstean", "neather", "Ainstean", etc... doesn't mean they have to write those words "Bernstien", "niether" or "Einstien". Special mention to "thier", "becuase" and "amatuer".
  • "Than" vs. "Then" : Just the fact that in some inferior dialects of the English language, "than" and "then" are pronounced about the same way doesn't mean that the comparative "than" has any reason to be written as the conjunctive/logical "then".
  • Your vs. You're : The former means "not my, not his, not our", in other words it is a possessive. The latter is a shortcut for "You are". Similar point for There vs Their vs They're.
  • Hobbyist and lobbyist are not superlatives. Hence they musn't be written as hobbiest and lobbiest.
  • Thi fuct thit ya ridnucks prunince any avelible vowal as "uh" doesn't forbid you to open a book from time to time to actually build up some vocabulary. It's "ludicrous" and "compatible", not "ludacris" and "compatable".
  • Its vs It's. The former is the genitive form of "It" and will therefore make the following word an attribute of the word replaced by the pronoun. Example : illiteracy and its consequences. The latter is an shortcut for "It is". Example : Illiteracy. It's so annoying.
  • lose vs. loose : the first is the verb associated with a loss. The second is the contrary of "firm"
  • to vs too : Your spelling is too pathetic for your post to matter to me. The same goes for your grammar too.
  • I could (not) care less. Most people say "I could care less" when they don't give a flying fuck. If they really could care less, then their lack of interest isn't that big. What they mean is that they could not care less.
...many more to come. Reply to this comment to suggest some.

A definition of irony :
A bunch of computer nerds without a sense for spelling and grammar mocking japanese game translators for their lack of skills in english spelling and grammar.

Contribution by Erpo :
I'm not any kind of grammar nazi, but decent spelling and grammar are important to me. The occasional affect/effect problem doesn't bother me (it just lowers my opinion of the author), but when a piece is riddled with errors (there/they're/their, its/it's, then/than, etc..) it's hard for me to read. Partially, I think this is because I sight read and I don't subvocalize. In other words, when I see, "It's over their," in print the first thing I think is, "It's over their what? Is it hovering over their kitchen counter? Is it over their heads? What is this person trying to say?" Of course, I don't just sit there pondering those questions (it only takes a split second to see there was a grammar error in the sentence), but I can't read as quickly when every few lines my eyes flick back to an earlier word.

Maybe I'm just hypersensitive. I don't know. If you don't know what I'm talking about though, check out this piece [] by Prince. It doesn't have very many grammar problems, but the "creative" spelling is really distracting.

I love this phrase... (4, Funny)

billbaggins (156118) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227731)

AOL - the world's largest internet provider - has been assaulting the bastion of European access but has yet to find a dominant foothold in any single country.
I can just see it... AOLTW's execs in a room with a big map of the world, pushing little plastic computer figurines around, planning their landing at Normandy, carpet-bombing Germany with those *(#$( CDs, sending commando troops east of the late Iron Curtain to aid the AOL insurgency...

...from the corner, a small voice pipes up... "Maybe it's the name. Maybe if it were something other than AMERICA online..." But the General gruffly puts the speaker down. "No. Europeans have absolutely NO PROBLEM with the idea of American hegemony. NONE. Shut up and get me more coffee."

Re:I love this phrase... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227794)

If it wasn't for AOL's aggressiveness, we might have to speak a European accent on the web and complain how the world revolves around Europe. Then Bin Laden would have a brand new enemy he could play with.

Makes sense, population wise (2, Informative)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227733)

There are WAY more people in Europe than North America. Even with a much smaller percentage of people online, it makes sense that there are more in terms of pure numbers.

Europe lagging behind ... (1)

Lev_Arris (60782) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227735)

... you sure bet we do! I've been hearing about cable access and so forth in the US for years and I've only gotten my first 'boardband' Internet access (a measly 256/64 DSL line at around 75$/month) 2 months ago. Before there was simply no option (no flatrate, no cable, no nothing) and even now we're limited to only one DSL line provider given the fact that we still have got our telecoms monopoly.

At least the neighbouring countries are a little better off as their size and deregulation are now allowing for more and more competitors to enter the market.

CERN (2, Informative)

BritInParis (569522) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227741)

oh, and BTW the world wide web was invented in Europe..

Re:CERN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227776)


the www sucks

the internet is cool, but www sucks ass

id rather chat on irc and get porn from newsgroups than read web pages... even slashdot!

Percentages would be a more accurate view (4, Informative)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227743)

The number of internet users in Europe may outnumber those in North America, but the total population also outnumbers North America by over 2 to 1. A quick Google, and I came up with 314 million for NA, and 727 million for Europe. Put in this persepective, NA still has over twice as many people online, but also leaves Europe with a lot of room to grow (and hence probably faster uptake in the future).

Well it's not the UK (3, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227744)

(probably because some of our telecoms companies are yet to understand the internet)

Ours tried to claim patent on Hyperlinks

In other news [] :
"Take-up of broadband in the UK lags pitifully behind other countries in Europe, according to the latest stats from Nielsen/NetRatings."

UK Govt. sold off the monopoly telecoms company. We could have had fibre to the door from the profits but instead licences were sold to foreign investment. They have spectacularly failed to recoup their investment, not least because BT won;t open up the local loop. I have fibre to my street but copper to the door.

OK hindsight is easy but selling the country's comms to finance slashing income tax wasn't really in the best long term interests of that market.

It is correct that there was a lot of overcapacity of the workforce in the nationalised industries but why it takes private investment to sort it out is a mystery. Reducing expenditure and increasing profits isn't the only way to operate. Providing jobs with lower work rates is good for the emloyees.

The promise of technology bringing more leisure time has come true. The unforseen consquence of that was that the time would not be evenly distributed. We now have millions of people without work and millions of people with too much work to do. Crazy.

It's not Switzerland either (1)

imperator_mundi (527413) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227826)

Where our beloved ex-monopoly telecom company delayed the introduction of DSL 'til last year "in order to protect the massive investment done in ISDN" ...

well isn't that special (1)

gkbarr (124078) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227745)

Great, both the US/Canada and European markets have 10x as many internet USERS as we have PEOPLE here in Australia...
and I wonder why I cant get a DSL line here in tha 'gong.

Surfing terminology: longboard == 56k modem

Populations (1)

kilf (135983) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227747)

Guys, this is easy.

The population of the USA is what? 250 million? Canada ain't much more than 30 million.

The population of the European Union is about 350 million. Europe itself is much bigger than the EU. So even if the EU is "behind" in percentage terms it can still be way ahead in total numbers.

Re:Populations (2)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227863)

Yes! I was just about to post this same observation. Think relative, not absolute here! Yet another example of common innumeracy.

First of all the population of Europe is over 800 million. The article did not say the EU. Indeed, this report [] shows non-EU countries contribute to that total.

Canada and the US together have about 315 million people. This means Internet penetration in Europe doesn't even approach that of North America (which is in fact contrary to an observation in the posted article).

Of course I'll admit that it is a semi-interesting statistic, although it will be more interesting when European numbers actually pass North American numbers, including Mexico. As it is, the stat is rather contrived.

Re:Populations (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227885)

USA is about that, but the EU is about 750 million, not 350 million.


Statistics, schmatistics (1)

Mikeytsi (186271) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227755)

Never mind that there's a lot more PEOPLE in Europe as a whole than in US/Canada. It would be more telling to see the ratio of Net/no Net as a percentage of population.

Europe isn't as homogenous as the US (5, Insightful)

Ato (44210) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227760)

Something to bear in mind is that Europe is far less homogenous than the US when it comes to adoption of new tech (and a great many other things as well, I might add). Generally speaking, northern Europe has been on par with the US in internet use since years back, whereas southern Europe is just picking up speed.

This, and the mere fact that the population base of Europe is larger than that of the US means that with time, as the market saturates, Europeans will certainly outnumber Americans (from the US anyway) on the net.

Major improvements in UK telcos internet offerings (4, Interesting)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227761)

I've recently returned to the UK after spending several years in Silicon Valley. When I left, dialup was metered and broadband unheard of. On returning, I've been pleasantly surprised by the offerings the UK telcos now have for internet access. Unmetered access is common, and at a price & quality equal to that I enjoyed in the US. Options (and prices) for broadband are considerably better than I enjoyed in Silicon Valley. I think the UK telcos (especially BT) finally get the internet.

<grumble>Okay, I lived 1/4 mile from El Camino in Mountain View, and stupid PacBell said I couldn't get DSL (toooo faaaar). If you can't rely on broadband in the densest area of the world's technology capital - where can you?</grumble>

Germany (3, Informative)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227762)

A large part of the reason that Europe was lagging behind (at least from what I saw in Germany over the summer) is that internet is very expensive. Germans however are nuts for cellular phones (which are often cheaper to use than their home phones) and have ways of downloading music to them and burning that on minidisc. I was staying with a family that had an ISP but still gave me money to go to an internet cafe rather than use their service because it was so expensive. I believe the issue is that the government has allowed a monopoly on all existing phone lines and the only companies that can get around it are newer, like cellular providers.

Re:Germany (1)

orki (598146) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227888)

hmm there are no downloads of musik(mp3s...) for a cheap price possible what u mean are maybe ringtones for handys... cause internet over handys... is very expensive @ time btw: handys = cellular phones btw: i use a voice over ip service over my handy and thats for free and works perfect... lucky beta tester ... so when this gets more popular we will outnumber internet use in US easily with about 90% of all the ppl here has handys hehe

not understanding the internet? (4, Funny)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227769)

I don't understand the poster's point about European ISP not understanding the internet. We have BT, and they freakin' invented hyperlinks.

All your internet are belong to us now

Net usage per capita still higher in US (4, Insightful)

Yet Another Smith (42377) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227770)

Since Europe is still larger than the Gringo-land by a fair amount, a somewhat smaller per-capita net usage stat will put the total number of users ahead of the US. Its still only in small countries with a concerted effort to push the internet that net usage per-capita tops the US. And that may only be in broadband - I don't remember off the top of my head.

The US, between immigration and a rebounding birth-rate, will outstrip the population of Europe before 2050, if current trends hold. But net usage should be around 99% by then throughout the developed world.

Teletext (3, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227778)

I heard somewhere that one of the reasons Europe is slow on the uptake of Interenet is that we have had Teletext since the early 80's, and therefore 'instant news' was regarded as not that big a deal here. Don't know if that's true, and another reason will certainly be the high telephone costs here in Europe.

Re:Teletext (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227817)

yep, that used to be true here in France, as we had (still have) the minitel, very profitable.

well, lets look at this (2)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227780)

According to The UN Population People [www.http] , Europe has a population of 727,304,000. This is compared to the 270-280 million in the US. So, Europe practically triples the US in size. However, I think that if there were more European net users than US net users, then there would be FAR more hits on varius websites from Europeans than Americans. *shrug* I wonder if this NUA place is counting people that are behind firewalls in business networks and whatnot.

Bush will put a stop to this soon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227781)

You see, Bush is about to cause an oil embargo. Just like in 1973, just bigger. Europe will pay more for oil and they will drop there internet connection in favor of food.

mod away pudknockers, you know I'm right

All Hail the /. Weenies (3, Funny)

Quirk (36086) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227787)

Ah! A summer away from /. and I return to find the same stagnant backwater mentality. In a world desperately in need of a sense of community and, all the more so, in talking of a technology carrying with it the hope of *communication* the /. talk is of _them_ against _us_. O me, O my it's back to my cabin in the woods I go.

Silly americans... (0, Flamebait)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227796)

I once encountered a US girl who was surprized that we, the dutch, actually speak... dutch. According to her everyone here in Europe speaks english. Hence why I wouldn't be surprized if some american would reply with "Europe? What's that?"...

It's a bad thing people think of american people at stupid... It's even worse when most of them you know online actually confirm it.

Re:Silly americans... (0, Flamebait)

money_shot (301137) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227857)

The the Europeans wonder why we think they're a bunch of pompus assholes...

International Bandwidth (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227806)

Damnit, it's those europeans that are stealing my International Bandwidth! ;)

asia ? (2)

Tom (822) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227807)

how about asia? they should be close, too. while the % of population online would be much smaller, the base numbers would be much higher.

MS-Specific apostrophes... (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227811)

"Now `Outnumber "

I thought slashdot wasn't going to continue to use directional apostrophes, which don't show properly on every machine.

Other than that, look at the number of people in europe vs/us+canada, and draw your own conclusions.

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227820)

Now, the majority of net users will start migrating to Linux instead of Windows.

In other news... (5, Funny)

MattC413 (248620) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227822)

Local American retailers have published a new study, saying that the reason that the economy isn't doing as well as it should be is because there are more people OUTSIDE this country than inside.

A spokesman for the industry has been quoted as saying that it is time for Americans to do their duty, and have lots and lots of sex, especially with an overlooked segment of the sexual economy - geeks.

A spokesman for Slashdot, when presented with this news, was heard to exclaim "Whoa.. sweet!"

Europe not a terrorist target (1, Troll)

heroine (1220) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227839)

The American flag bumper stickers help, but economics always favors areas with less threat of computer hacking.

The problem is Canada (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227848)

Blame Canada!

Not surprising... (1)

PygmyTrojan (605138) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227861)

considering Europe's population is more than double [] that of Canada/US.

Asia-pacific to beat Europe and US on numbers (5, Informative)

Draoi (99421) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227870)

Also from Nua;
Asia-Pacific will have more Internet users than either Europe or North America by the end of 2002, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.

The study indicates that there will be more than 180 million Internet users in Asia-Pacific by the end of the year, compared with 175.7 million users in Europe and 167.7 million in North America.
More info here []

Differences in Europe (3, Insightful)

repvik (96666) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227874)

There are a lot of differences between countries in Europe. Ireland sucks when it comes to internet infrastructure (There's barely broadband available) and the phone system sucks (I'm on a multiplexed line, so I get 16.200bps dialup). And there is no such thing as 'uncapped' or 'flat rate'.

Compare that to Norway where flat-rate, uncapped broadband has been widely available quite a few years, with a VDSL test-project the last year. Or Sweden, where "Bredbandsbolaget" (Dunno if I wrote that correctly) can deliver 10mbps-lines to normal people.

A few telecom companies are confused about internet. The Norwegian "Telenor" started building a *good* infrastructure back in the '70s. Ireland OTOH seems to have a hodgepodge of systems that won't quite work, or works slowly.

Not surprising (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227875)

Depending on how the study defines Europe, Europe is either slightly larger or substantially larger (100+ million people) than North America. The real news is that it took this long for Europe to pass North America, serving to illustrate North America's head start.

All this may have changed yet again in the coming decades, thanks to demographic trends, as this article [] in the Economist [] illustrates.

interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4227884)

Very interesting trend shift. The US has led the world in technology inovation for longer than I've been alive but has always lagged behind in cell phones, handhelds, high speed networks and other adaptations and refinements of technology.

Until recently(5 years) there wasn't enough demand for such things but perhaps by building early the Euros (yeah I said it you limies and froggies ;-P) have provided an environment where in the next 10 years they will crush us in technological achievement. Could it be that they had more vision and saw the world moving to specialized ubiquitous devices? Lord knows we didn't. We can't even get or Telcos to string up anything more useful than ISDN in most of the US.

Who cares? (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 12 years ago | (#4227890)

Seriously - who cares?

Maybe I'm just a typical pig headed American, but I could really give a shit how many people in Europe are online. :)

Europe sure seems obsessed with "beating" the United States in things. I would think if they're really so far ahead of us in technology, they wouldn't spend quite so much time trying to explain that they're so far ahead of us in technology.
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