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CNN Today

Internet Group Publishes Study on World Wide Web Use

Aired September 1, 2000 - 1:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The Internet boom is the source of praise and concern. One group wants to make sure the Internet continues to grow without leaving some people behind.

CNN technology correspondent Rick Lockridge is here with the details on the state of the Internet.

Hi, Rick.

RICK LOCKRIDGE, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra.

Well, it sure is growing explosively, but it looks like it's going to be a long time before even a substantial portion of the world is Internet ready. Why don't we take a look at the numbers.

PHILLIPS: Let's do it.

LOCKRIDGE: The report by the U.S. Internet Council shows that the number of users since 1993, which is when the World Wide Web really allowed a lot of people to get on the Internet who weren't academics or scientists, that number has grown from 90,000 into 304 million in 2000, that's an increase of 3,400 percent. What may be even more telling is the increase in just the past year, from 1999 to 2000, an increase of 135 million people with Internet access, that's an increase of over 80 percent in just one year.

Now the projection is that by the year 2005, there will be one billion users on the Internet, Kyra. Still, there will be 5 1/2 billion people without Internet access. Out of the 6 1/2 billion total population projected by 2005, only 15 percent will have Internet access by then.

PHILLIPS: Now, are we talking mostly Americans?

LOCKRIDGE: Well, Americans really are leading the way in terms of percentage of Americans who have Internet access. Looking at the raw numbers, you can see that also percentage-wise: 42 percent of Americans, making it the most wired nation; Canada's close behind; Japan in third place, Japan's Internet access percentage increased by 63 percent in just the past year, so they are really coming on strong; and Europe in fourth place. The rest of the world, however, has only about 10 percent of the total Internet access. If you look at those three numbers that were just up there, add those all up, less than 10 percent left over for everybody else in the world. PHILLIPS: What about buying things on-line. I even find myself buying more things on-line? is that increasing?

LOCKRIDGE: Well, you may be helping, making e-commerce, pretty much, an American phenomenon, or at least an English-speaking one. Ninety-six percent of the e-commerce sites on the Web are in English. English is the language of business and commerce on the Web. And 44 percent of U.S. businesses conduct at least some transactions on-line, making it clear that American businesses feel they must have a Web presence. But if the future of the Internet is wireless, as a lot of people think it is, then America could lose its dominant position because European countries, for example, do a lot better with wireless access than we do. If you look at phones like this one, this is a phone that has Internet access, and, of course, I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but...

PHILLIPS: Mine does, too, and I haven't figured it out either.

LOCKRIDGE: Thirty-seven percent of Americans have cell phones, but 64 percent of the people, for example, in Finland, have these phones and know how to use them, how to conduct transactions with them. So if the future of the Web is the wireless, then America will have some catching up to do, unlike in the wired world that we have right now.

PHILLIPS: And this will be the next report that we'll bring you with us again.

LOCKRIDGE: Down the line.

PHILLIPS: All right, Rick Lockridge, thanks so much.

LOCKRIDGE: Thank you. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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