RealTime IT News

150,000 Philippine Homes Have Access to the Internet

Even though only one percent or 146,516 of Philippine households have Internet access, the country remains fertile ground for the growth of the Internet Service industry, one survey indicates.

The survey was conducted last December to January by Web consultancy Web Philippines Inc. and Media Frontiers. Beyond the number of users, the survey provides information on the market itself, with regards to its size, demographic characteristics, habits, lifestyles and attitudes.

According to the survey, 57 percent of the Philippine Internet user population is male. About eight out of ten fall within the so-called "Generation X" (19-34 years old): young, up-and-coming professionals who are generally starting to realize their economic power.

An estimated 67 percent of Internet users are single with four to five members in each household. It is also an educated group as eight out of ten have finished at least a college undergraduate course. A considerable number (32 percent) indicated some graduate level education.

A reported 16 percent of present Internet users have not yet entered the workforce (high school and college students). Web Philippines considered this segment to be a major force in the Internet market in the future.

Information Technology (IT) professionals make up almost a quarter of the Internet population, making it the highest represented industry. Other industries that have at least a ten percent representation include the service sector, the manufacturing sector and other professional groups (doctors, lawyers, etc).

The personal income of the average working Internet user is around US$632 per month. 54 percent of Internet users pay for their own Internet access, which has an average cost at $24 dollars a month.

E-mail is the primary reason why the local community accesses the Internet, while 30-38 percent mentioned chat and entertainment and business news updates.

"We'll be coming up with two more reports this year. The second run which will start this May will update this present report and include more information on the attitude of the local Internet users," said Ramon Canumay of Web Philippines. "Our third run will start sometime on third quarter which will include information on the e-commerce market."

The summary of the The 1999 Philippine Internet User Habits and Demographics Survey will be posted online in the next week.

The Philippines' Internet service industry boomed from around 90 providers in 1996 to around 150 ISPs and walk-in service providers today.