Algeria internet penetration estimated at 12.8%
The number of internet users is Algeria is estimated at 4.5 million, or around 12.8 percent of the population, according to a recent survey. Three-quarters of internet users said the net is an indispensable tool, and 90 percent said they are online daily for at least the past year. The average time spent online is two hours. Men (74.2%) use the internet more often than women (25.8%), while six out of ten internet users are below the age of 40. Two-thirds of internet users have a university-level education of at least BAC+1, while almost 70 percent are employed and 19 percent are students. Just over half are located in the centre of the country, with 29 percent in Algiers. Among the popular online activities, 82.6 percent use e-mail, 42.5 percent use instant messaging services, 33.8 percent visit discussion forums, 33 percent use internet telephony and 9.9 percent use video conferencing. Over 80 percent of internet users look at the press online, 19.9 percent listen to the radio and 11.4 percent watch TV. Almost 60 percent say they use social networking sites, with Facebook by far the most popular. Almost two-thirds said they use the internet from home, while another quarter connect from work and 6.5 percent use internet cafes or youth centres. However, 72 percent say they are unsatisfied with the bandwidth of their connection at home, and 79.7 percent say the line is frequently disrupted. Just over 50 percent said the price of an internet subscription is affordable, while 43.8 percent find it expensive. Just over 30 percent of internet users say they also go online from their mobile phones, but find the speed of the connection lacking and the service too expensive. Seventy-nine percent said they use mobile internet for downloading ringtones, games and wallpapers, while 58.8 percent look at their e-mail. Nedjma had the highest number of users, with 62.7 percent of mobile internet respondents. Only 5.4 percent of the internet users said they participated in the government's Oursatic programme for buying a computer. While the project was considered interesting, they found the process of buying equipment too expensive, with too many administrative burdens, and banks unwilling to facilitate to the process. The survey WebDialn@ was conducted on popular websites and in a mailing to 7,000 people, and collected almost 6,000 responses. The survey was conducted by web consulting group Med& Com and online polling group Ideatic.