Canadians are becoming accustomed to accessing the Internet from their offices, and that workplace functionality is increasingly driving them to sign up for home-based access, according to a recent survey.

Internet use by Canadians soared last year, up 77 per cent from 1997, according to the Canadian Media Quality Ratings Survey (QRS) released by Nielsen Media Research and CBC Research. In mid-1998, 23 per cent of Canadian adults subscribed to an Internet service provider (ISP), compared with 13 per cent of subscribers during the same time in 1997.

“What seems to have happened is that people who have been exposed to [the Internet] outside the home began to feel that it was, in fact, a necessity to have this kind of service in the home to be able to get access to it 24 hours a day,” said Barry Kiefl, director of research for CBC.

The survey, which interviewed almost 3,000 Canadian adults, shows that 39 per cent of Canadians used the Internet in mid-1998 compared with 27 per cent in 1997, a jump of 12 percentage points (or 44 per cent).

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