8.1 mln Internet users in Central and Eastern Europe

The total number of Internet connections in Central and Eastern Europe is expected to reach 8.1 mln at the end of 2004, up 20% from the previous year. According to a new IDC study, while growth in dial-up connections is slowing, users are migrating to broadband technologies such as DSL and cable. IDC indicates that total spending on Internet access is expected to reach $1.76 bln for the region in 2004. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are expected to account for nearly 70% of the region’s total connections in 2004 and 60% of spending. The region includes Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. DSL has become the most widely used broadband technology in these countries, although demand for cable Internet is continuing to grow.