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Most of us are on the internet at home. So what are we doing with it?

Most of us are on the internet at home—so what are we doing with it?

Jason Smith

[Metrics]

Across the world, two in ten households have access to the internet at home, according to a justreleased Gallup survey. In 2009, internet access at home was far greater in more economically advanced countries like New Zealand, where nearly eight in ten people (75 percent) have access to the net at home.

Perhaps surprisingly, New Zealand is among the top 25 performers. Zip-a-dee-doodah. Kiwi broadband may be narrower than in other places, but it conveys data to many homes nevertheless. Domestic dialup will soon be a dim memory.

Cultural objects that fill leisure time via the internet will increasingly be part of the creative economy. but it is harder than ever for creative talent to make a buck among the short attention spans

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Entertainment, not economic development, is the main use for the internet at home in New Zealand. The increasing variety of media options available online provides literally unquantifiable stay-at-home entertainment choices, including unfathomable dark arts or unmentionables in the wee small hours. Kiwis download films and images on a trajectory to dominate domestic internet in New Zealand. Dextrous gaming is growing at a lesser rate than more passive types of online leisure, and peer-topeer file sharing is in decline. As broadband gets broader and faster, streaming movies and live sports to giant home 3D screens will be more commonplace.

The experience of these cultural objects that fill leisure time, accessed via the internet, will increasingly be part of the creative economy. Media consumption may entertain but it is arguably harder than ever for creative talent to make a buck among the short attention spans focused on vanity parades like YouTube. Clever sparks who look online for new ways to engage are the best hope for economic development from these bright fibres and all those people out there in the dark.