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SURVEY

Slovakia more digitally literate, but still has room to grow

SLOVAKS are using the internet more often for e-mail, shopping and banking, but government offices still have reservations about offering more services on their websites, a survey showed.

SLOVAKS are using the internet more often for e-mail, shopping and banking, but government offices still have reservations about offering more services on their websites, a survey showed.

The survey conducted by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) showed that the country has become more digitally literate since 2005, the ČTK newswire wrote.

"The Slovak population particularly improved in activities such as chatting, e-mail, and internet banking and shopping," said Marián Velšic, one of the project authors.

In 2005, Slovaks achieved 33 points out of a possible 100 in the IVO methodology for measuring digital literacy. In 2007, they got 37 points.

However, the growth in digital literacy has slowed down. The pace of the increase of new computer users is also slower.

"On the other hand, the share of people who use the computer and internet more regularly has increased," Velšic said.

The low number of people with access to the internet is still a problem: only one-third of households are connected. The situation is worst in small villages with 2,000 or less residents, where up to 77 percent of respondents do not have internet connection.

In spite of this, the ability of Slovaks to use modern information technologies is comparable with more developed European countries, said Velšic. He thinks that more information from government offices published on the web might encourage more internet use.

"There are still many services which could be accessed on the internet," he said.

The IVO survey took place between July 8 and August 21 on a sample of 1,149 respondents.

Another survey by AIMonitor found out that the Zoznam.sk web portal is the most visited site in Slovakia.

The survey was carried out for the Association of Internet Media (AIM) by Mediaresearch Slovakia, in co-operation with Gemius.

More than 1,464 million real users visited the Zoznam site, which offers information, services and news, in September.

Azet.sk was second with over 1.25 million hits, followed by the Atlas.sk website with 1.15 million.

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