EU says a third of Europeans never used Internet

A woman browses web at an Internet cafe in Madrid May 23, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - One third of European Union citizens say they have never used the Internet, compared with 40 percent in 2007, an EU study showed on Tuesday.

In the report on the digital economy in the 27-nation EU, the European Commission also said more than one in four Europeans had never used a computer and 40 percent had no Internet access at home.

Among those not having an Internet link, more than a third said they did not see the need while roughly one in four said they could not afford it.

Older people -- above the age of 65 -- and the unemployed were the least active online.

The Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said people aged 16-24 did most online. Its survey also included young children.

Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said the focus must be on freeing up the internet highway for these super users.

She plans new rules for Internet downloads to make it easier for people to access music and films.

“To release the economic potential of these digital natives, we must make access to digital content an easy and fair game,” she said in a statement.