LONDON: Europeans spend more than eleven hours weekly browsing the web, according to new figures issued by the European Interactive Advertising Association. The research claims internet use has risen 11% in the region since 2005.

The EIAA says 45% of European web surfers are online every day and visit social networking websites at least once a month; while 31% download music at least once a month and 15% make online phone calls.

Comments Michael Kleindl, chairman of the EIAA and managing partner of Valkiria Network: "The effectiveness of the internet as a channel for engaging and connecting with consumers has never been more evident than after reviewing the trends highlighted in this survey."

According to the report, broadband penetration is highest in France at 87%, closely followed by Norway (85%), the UK, Sweden and Denmark (all 84%). The study reveals that consumers in countries with greater broadband penetration are more likely to use the internet for entertainment purposes.

Italy's internet usage boomed in 2006, with time spent online increasing from an average 8.4 hours per week in 2005 to 12.1 hours. In parallel, Italy also experienced a significant 8% growth in broadband penetration this year.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff