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Dataquest Forecasts Boom for European Internet Industry

At a time when many experts say the economy is teetering on the edge of a recession, GartnerGroup's Dataquest is forecasting a boom in the European Internet market.

The market research firm said the number of computers connected to the Internet in Europe will grow from 13.3 million in 1997 to 69 million by 2002. This year the market is growing 60%, with 21.2 million Internet seats, said Dataquest.

"As telecommunication deregulation begins to show its impact in Europe, prices for higher speed access such as leased lines will decrease, and some medium-sized companies that today can't afford leased line access will switch over," said Petra Gartzen, senior industry analyst for Dataquest's Internet and Enterprise Strategies Europe program. "Once a company has leased line access, a much larger number of employees can be given Internet access."

Leading the way in 1997 was Germany, with 4.7 million Internet seats, followed by the UK and France, with 2 million and 1 million Internet seats respectively. Dataquest said that these three countries will continue to account for over 50% of Internet seats in Europe until 2002.

The strongest growth is expected to be in France, where Internet usage was slow to catch on, chiefly because Minitel, France Telecom's proprietary online service, was so popular. Petra Gartzen noted: "France Telecom is now a driving force in the French Internet market, and recent growth figures show a big increase in interest in the Internet in both the business and consumer sectors."

Further details of the Dataquest forecasts and figures are available in the Dataquest Market Statistics report "European Internet and Online Service Providers Forecast, 1998." Fully detailed analysis is available in a Dataquest Market Analysis report, "The Future of the Internet in Europe."