Commerce sees online gold rush

Commerce sees online gold rush

A rush to conduct e-government transactions is being led by children, young adults and retired people who increasingly have broadband Internet connections, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans said this week in a report.

In the foreword to the report, A Nation Online: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Economics and Statistics Administration, Evans said Internet use is growing among all segments of the population at home and at work.

More than half the U.S. population is now online, according to the report, and 2 million more people are using the Internet each month. About 57 percent of employed people over age 25 use a computer at work. Between August 2000 and September 2001, the number of them who used the Internet and e-mail at work rose from 26.1 percent to 41.7 percent.

Eighty percent of households with Internet access said they used dial-up connections, 12.9 percent had cable modems, and 6.6 percent used digital subscriber lines. The leading uses reported were e-mail, information searches and online transactions.

The Census Bureau obtained the figures from a September 2001 survey of 57,000 households.

The Commerce report concluded, “Our nation has passed a significant milestone now that the majority of Americans use computers and the Internet for their daily activities. This trend is enriching our world, facilitating our work lives, and providing a skill set needed for a growing economy.”

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