Study reaffirms constant Internet growth in Chile

A survey that measures the progress of digitalization among children and teenagers confirmed the high prevalence of broadband connections, social platforms and responsible behavior on the web.

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A massive use of broadband connections in homes in Chile, which has tripled in six years from 21% in 2004 to 56% in 2009, was one of the main findings of the Digital Generation Index (DGI) study prepared by VTR, Adimark GFK and educarchile aimed at measuring the progress in the digitalization of elementary and middle school students.

In terms of access, the ownership of home computers increased from 46% to 74% over this period. Among users, 76% said they were connected to the Internet.

In six years, Chilean students became the main actors of the digital community. 96% said they connect to the Internet from wherever they are and 85% declared to know the web well and considered themselves as experts.

The connection rate increased dramatically in six years among young people between the ages of 10 and 17 considered by the DGI. While in 2008, ‘light users’ (who connect less than three days a week) predominated with 35%, in 2009 ‘heavy users’ (who connect six or seven days per week) became the leaders representing 40% of users.

Web applications and safety

Young Chileans use the Web to communicate, do their homework, to find information of interest and for entertainment. In this sense, MSN is listed as the primary source of communication for school kids. However, thanks to the advance of broadband which has allowed the development of different social networks, students are using Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, among others.

An important aspect for the analysis is what safety precautions that young people use when navigating the web. The DGI said that the habit of chatting with strangers declined from 47% to 43% between 2008 and 2009, a record that confirms the descending curve that began in 2007, when it reached 74%.

Also, the number of people who use the net to chat with friends, relatives and acquaintances increased. The highest growth experienced was among children and young Chileans who chat with members of their family, which increased from 77% in 2008 to 89% in 2009.