Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Internet Penetration in Armenia

Scholar Katy Pearce recently published an article on Epress News ( revealing some interesting points about internet penetration in Armenia. Using information from CRRC's 2010 Caucasus Barometer, Pearce writes that internet penetration tripled from 2009 to 2010 within Armenia. According to Pearce, the most likely reason for this is increased access to mobile internet.

The article reveals that new internet adoption is regionally diverse in Armenia and that men and women make up an equal number of early adopters (new users). Pearce places specific emphasis on the fact that the average age of the mobile internet user is older than would be expected (41).

Pearce posits that the Armenian government's 'Computers for All' Program may have influenced such a sharp increase this past year. The program, which was launched in September 2009, allows Armenian citizens to rent desktop and laptop computers at a low price (11,400-18,300 drams/month and 11,200 drams/month, respectively).

Although the program does account for some of the usage increase, Pearce points out that the program has failed to increase computer literacy in Armenia. According to her, data from the Caucasus Barometer shows that self-reported computer skills have not increased since 2007. Also, Pearce concludes that, while the program has resulted in an increase in the use of computers among the Armenian population, personal computers are still 'prohibitively expensive for most Armenians.'

- 'Internet Penetration in Armenia Tripled in Past 2 Years: Caucasus Barometer', Epress News, 4/12/2011. < >

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