Cypriots lag behind significantly in digital skills compared to the EU average, while a large percentage (32%) of the population has never used the internet, according to the results of the EU 2014 Digital Scoreboard released on Thursday by the European Commission.
Results obtained from a newly developed Digital Skills Indicator show that, in 2012, 62% of Cypriots had low or no digital skills, compared to 47% for the EU average. Disadvantaged people - individuals who are aged 55-74, low education, unemployed, retired or inactive - are less highly digitally skilled than the EU average.
Within the workforce, skills are higher although 57% of the workforce has low or no digital skills. On average in the EU, the figure is 39%.
At 65% in 2013, households without internet access reporting lack of skills as a reason for no access are significantly higher than the EU average of 37%. In 2013, 32%of the population had still never used the internet lower than in 2012 and significantly higher than the EU average of 20%.
According to a broad definition, the share of ICT specialists in total employment in Cyprus was 2.1% in 2012; about the same as the EU average of 2.8%.
At the end of 2013, fixed broadband covered 100% of homes in Cyprus compared to 97% in the EU.
At the same time, Next Generation Access capable of providing at least 30 Mbps download was available to 77% of homes (62% in the EU), while 64% of the households had a broadband subscription at the end of 2013, lower than the EU average (76%) and two percentage points higher than at the end of 2012.
The share of high speed connections was considerably lower than the EU average (1% compared to 21% in the EU) and there was no ultra-fast connection (providing at least 100 Mbps).
Some 62% of Cypriots reported using the internet at least weekly (regular users), below the EU average of 72%. Cyprus also exhibited lower rates of daily use of the internet (frequent users), with 53%of the population reporting going online every day, compared to an EU average of 62%.