The level of Internet use in the Balearics is the fifth highest in Spain with 17.8 per cent of the population regularly using the net, according to the Balearic Minister for Innovation Príam Villalonga. The Minister, addressing the confernece Internet Access 2001, being held in Palma, said yesterday that the average level of Internet use across Spain's autonomous regions is 14'7 per cent and only Madrid, Barcelona, La Rioja and Navarra have more net users than the Balearics. The increase in Internet use over the past four years has been huge. In 1997, just four per cent of the population regularly used the net - since then the figure has more than quadrupled. But the local authorities would like to see more people using the Internet, and one of the objectives of the conference is to alert the general public to the many ways in which people can log on to the net, be it by a personal computer via a telephone line, by using an Internet or digital television or via a mobile phone or a WAP phone. The conference heard yesterday how one of the problems is that while a vast majority of businesses are now operating on the Internet, the vast majority of the public is not.

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