Opinion poll: 5-6% of Russians use the Internet

According to the All-Russian centre for studying public opinion, or VTsIOM, only 5-6% of the Russian population use the Internet. In 2005, their number may reach 15 per cent, according to forecasts.

These figures were given by Russian Deputy Communications and Informatisation Minister Dmitry Milovantsev at a press conference on Wednesday. He summed up the results of the first opinion poll called "Russia's population on the federal target programme 'Electronic Russia'".

The representative poll conducted by VTsIOM upon the ministry's request made it possible to find out positive and negative aspects of the programme, he said.

The poll also showed that 47 per cent of Russians were ready to use the Internet to increase their educational level, while 67 per cent considered Internet access to the information reflecting the authorities' work important, Milovantsev pointed out.

In this connection the deputy minister emphasized that the state should ensure open access to the information on the state bodies' activities. "The Electronic Government project aims at solving this problem," he added.

At the same time, Russia is rather far from the status of a computer-literate country, Milovantsev admitted. The polls show that a significant part of the population /63 per cent/ cannot use the computer and the Internet resources, he pointed out.

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