50,000 First Time Internet Users Online in One Day Across Europe

Filed under: March 2010 |

Telecentre-Europe organised the Get Online Day on 4th March 2010, a pan-European event that was part of the eSkills Week 2010, coordinated by Digital Europe and European SchoolNet, and funded by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry. Get Online Day was supported by national partners, NGOs, telecentres, libraries, schools, information access points and aimed to bring people online, targeting mainly the offline Europeans, people, who had never used the Internet and were, consequently, not aware of its benefits.

Across the wider European region, almost 300 million people live in digital exclusion. In today’s knowledge based society, digital technologies represent a gateway to economic and social development, and without it, their future potential is limited. At Telecentre-Europe, we believe that we can help create relevant and scalable approaches towards achieving e-Inclusion for the ones that are left behind.

“While before I had to rely on hearing about job vacancies by chance and from neighbours, I was amazed to discover a wide range of job-search sites in my own language. I have even signed-up for my first IT course in our local telecentre and I hope to be able to support this great Get Online Day event in the future. It sure opened my eyes!” said Alexandra Tudor, a 44-year old unemployed lady from Romania.

The first ever European Get Online Day turned out to be an exceptionally successful event. More than 50,000 people were reached by the campaign on the first day itself, in 42 European countries, and the online counter recorded a total number of 68,253 people during the whole of EC eSkills Week 2010.

During the height of the campaign on 4th March, the counter on the Telecentre-Europe site was rising at the rate of about 3,600 hits an hour, which means one person every second! The most active telecentre networks using the site were from Romania, Lithuania and Latvia.

In Latvia, over 10,000 people accessed the online IT barometer to measure their ICT skills, while in Romania over 100 eCentres, libraries, schools and Public Information Access Points (PIAPs) worked together in a unique way reaching more than 20,000 people.

The campaign involved a strong participation of youngsters (60% of total participants) and over 3000 unemployed people got online for the first time ever. Women represented around 60% of participants, while the group of participants aged over 40 reached 20%. Telecentres are community venues where people can go to get help using computers and the Internet.  Telecentres across Europe held events helping people to learn about the Internet, many of them accessing it for the first time. This project across the length and breadth of Europe showed the power of a joined up network!.

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