Students the largest group to access the internet

Sabrine Donohoe

A grand total of 99 percent of students accessed the internet several times a day, while 92 per cent use the internet for social media.

Students accessed the internet the most last year, according to the ICT usage by households 2018 survey, published by the Central Statistics Office.

A grand total of 99 per cent of students accessed the internet several times a day, while 92 per cent use the internet for social media.

Students also used the most cloud storage online, at 76 percent. The figure lowered to 62 percent among other people in the 16-29 age group.

“A lot of times you have group projects and you want to be able to have a central place where you can always access or edit files,” said 18-year-old David Mokogu.

“After losing a few files I’ve had to start using cloud,” said 20-year-old Hannah Ní Sceacháin.

“Lecturers prefer us to use Google Drive,” said 19-year-old Rebecca O’Reilly.

A portion of 29 per cent of students took free online training or self-study to improve their IT skills, compared to just 12 per cent of non-students in the 16-29 age bracket. Just two per cent did not use apps.

Internet connection was the highest in Dublin at 90 per cent, but lower outside Dublin at the border (69 per cent), and the midlands (67 per cent).

“Sometimes my Wi-Fi at home just goes off for a couple of hours and at least once a month it does that,” said Mokogu, who lives in Dublin.

“Sometimes the internet on my phone just does not work, especially when you’re on the bus. I’d say that’s where I have the worst internet connection”.

“[At the border in Monaghan] the connection can be really bad,” said Ní Sceacháin.

Mobile internet access was lower among the very affluent compared to the disadvantaged and the very disadvantaged, at 43 per cent, versus 63 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, 94 per cent of the very affluent used a smartphone, compared to 90 per cent of the very disadvantaged.

But social media usage was similar among income quantiles, at 76 per cent for very affluent households, 70 per cent among the disadvantaged, and 75 per cent among the very disadvantaged.

A total of 28 per cent of internet users arranged accommodation through a dedicated website or app like ‘Airbnb’, whereas 1 in 10 did so via social networks like Facebook or other websites. ‘Airbnb’ has come under fire in recent months for its short-term letting provisions, which harm the domestic rental market and make access to long-term housing more difficult.

On average, 89 per cent of households had access to the internet at home last year. Of the 11 per cent without access, 40 per cent said they do not need internet, while 6 per cent said the internet is not available in their area.

Sabrine Donohoe

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