SPECIAL REPORT: Three-quarters of all firms use the Internet

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Although the value of sales over the Internet was small, businesses continued to embrace the Internet in 2002; according to a Statistics Canada survey.

The survey found that 76% of Canadian businesses used the Internet, up from 71% in 2001 and 63% in 2000. Firms that used the Internet accounted for 97% of economic activity.

Nearly all (93%) businesses with 20 employees or more used the Internet in the workplace in 2002. Overall, 52% of private sector employees had Internet access, up from 47% in 2001 and from 39% in 2000.
he proportion of businesses using the Internet advanced in nearly all industry sectors. Advances were strongest in accommodation and food services and in real estate, rental and leasing, both up about 21% from 2001.

About 31% of businesses had a website, up from 26% in 2000. These businesses accounted for 83% of all gross business income.

Three-quarters (74%) of firms conducting business in educational services in the private sector had a website, the highest proportion. They were followed by the information and cultural industries sector, where 68% had a website.

Those least likely to have a website were in forestry, logging and support activities (9%).
About 15% of enterprises had an internal communications network, or intranet, up from 12% in 2000. Industries most likely to have an Intranet were information and cultural industries, and finance and insurance.

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