Andy Atkins-Kruger

Internet statistics from Belgium take two steps forwards

Two organisations from Belgium – Insites and ISPA – which publish statistical information on the country’s web use, are to join forces to deliver better information for web marketers.

Insites publishes the report known as the Belgium Internet Mapping twice a year. The latest figures – known as ‘BIM 12′ – were published in December and gave a figure of 4.2 million internet users with 49% of the Belgian population using the internet on a regular basis – in other words at least once per month. It also concluded that a limiting factor on the growth of Belgian web use, was computer penetration. It forecast a potential growth of web use to 57% of the population – but called for incentives to increase the availability of PCs.

BIM 12 also placed Google at the head of the search engine preferences of the Belgians.

The good news is that 85% of Belgians who access the web at home – do so through a fast broadband or cable connection.

ISPA’s last internet study was published in February relating to the last quarter of 2004 and, whilst giving different numbers, largely reflected the Insite picture with broadband use reaching 80% of internet connections. The rise in web access, however, was largely static with a growth of just 2% overall (business 2.9%, home 1.8%). Just connections to broadband are increasing at a reasonable pace of 6.5%. In total, ISPA believes the total number of active connections to be just over 2 million.

Overall the picture in Belgium is currently one of relative stagnation – although comparative figures from elsewhere would suggest that increased broadband use means that more time is actually spent online – but neither ISPA nor Insite comment on this.

It is to hoped that the combined efforts of both organisations will enrich the data available to marketers targeting Belgium. We’ll keep you posted.

Insites ISPA

Andy Atkins-Kruger
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world, writes for the Multinational Search column of SearchEngineLand.com and is the Managing Editor of the Multilingual Search blog.

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