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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Qatar Internet Stats

A friend sent me some stats on internet usage recently, and I thought they made interesting reading. (I am sure they have already appeared in the Gulf Times, so no apologies for lack of originality.)

According to the stats, internet usage grew by 16% last year in Qatar, the majority of which was ADSL. Internet accounts had grown by 53,000 to over 80,000 in the third quarter of last year.

Interestingly, the report estimated internet penetration at 9%. I am not sure exactly what this means or how they estimate this - it seems like they may have calculated this by taking the number of internet accounts and the general population and working it out from there.

However, many households share an internet account, while general use of the internet is much higher than the number of accounts would suggest. Every office has internet, the parks have wireless internet these days, internet cafes are usually crammed and there are loads of cafes where you can use the internet for the price of a cup of coffee.

However, according to a friend who manages a major company's website, the people not using the internet are the Qataris. Another friend, who teaches computers in an independent school, confirmed this.

"The students come to school in a landcruiser or a pickup truck, but they don't even have a single computer in the house."

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