Ireland has the highest growing broadband connection rate in Europe, increasing at a rate of 18pc year on year, according to Eurostat.
Despite this, however, Ireland is still below the European average in terms of household broadband penetration.
According to Eurostat, 54pc of European homes have internet access compared with 49pc in 2006. Some 42pc of European homes have broadband access in 2007, a significant jump from 30pc last year.
The Eurostat report showed that 57pc of Irish homes now have internet access, up from 50pc a year ago.
It also showed that 31pc of households have broadband, compared with 13pc in 2006. However, this is below the EU27 average of 42pc of households with broadband.
Countries like the UK are at 57pc household broadband penetration. Denmark is at 70pc, the Netherlands is at 74pc and Lithuania is at 58pc.
The Eurostat survey showed that 79pc of European males and 67pc of European females between the ages of 16 and 24 used the internet at least once a week.
This decreased to 61pc of males and 55pc females between the ages of 25 and 54 who used the net once a week, and even further to 31pc and 19pc of males and females respectively between the ages of 55 and 74 who went online once a week.
Ireland again fell below the European average in terms of using the internet at least once a week, with 71pc of males and 61pc of females between the ages of 16 and 24 going online on this basis.
Only 59pc of men and 55pc women between 25 and 54 in Ireland respectively went online at least once a week, again below the EU27 average.
The survey found that one in 10 people in Ireland has regularly used the internet to participate in online discussions via mediums like chatrooms, blogs and newsgroups.
By John Kennedy
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