Digital barometer 2022: the French very connected and equipped – Computerworld

In 2022, equipment has multiplied within homes, as have uses. The annual digital barometer covers several aspects of everyday life: network quality, consumption habits, security and usage control.

Sponsored by Arcep (Regulation Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts), the General Council for the Economy (CGE), the ANCT (National Agency for Territorial Cohesion) and since this year, Arcom (l French public authority for the regulation of audiovisual and digital communication), the 2022 edition of the Digital Barometer unveils its results. This survey, carried out by Credoc, which questioned 4,184 French people on the basis of a representative sample of the population (12 years and over residing in metropolitan France and questioned by telephone and online), shows that digital technology has clearly imposed in everyday life.

The proportion of owners of connected objects has risen sharply: +7 points for users of systems relating to health, security, home automation or household appliances and for users of connected speakers. Now 40% of respondents use at least one IoT and 27% a connected speaker. Surprisingly, virtual reality is making its appearance in everyday objects. Thus 7% of respondents have a virtual reality headset (probably gamers), one respondent in five has already tried this new digital tool and 1 in 5 would like to do so.

The proliferation of terminals

Present for a long time in homes, the television has kept its aura. It remains one of the most common digital devices in households, which renew it frequently. In 2022, 95% of respondents said they owned at least one television, a proportion that has hardly changed in ten years. “Digital represents 2.5% of the national carbon footprint. This year we have focused on televisions where the level of equipment is very high” explains Maya Bacache, member of the Arcep college. In fact, nearly half of respondents have owned their TV for less than five years. Conversely, only 20% have held their main job for more than ten years.

Multiplication of equipment in the homes of the French. (Credit: Credoc)

The smartphone, a veritable everyday Swiss army knife, is the most used, with 87% of the population equipped (+3 points compared to 2020). “Digital uses are quite protean,” says Maya Bacache. “The smartphone is the preferred terminal for Internet access. We don’t just make phone calls, all aspects of life are digital,” she adds. Among the respondents equipped, 89% say they send messages using apps offering this service (+10 points compared to 2020) and 78% use them to make calls (+11 points). The French use the mobile Internet every day, including when waiting or traveling considered as “down time” on a daily basis. The smartphone is then used to send SMS (76%), browse the internet (70%), watch videos (50%) or play (47%), and many other uses, to the detriment of more traditional activities. such as reading a book or a paper newspaper (53% compared to 63% in 2013).

Fixed and mobile networks

On fixed networks, even if the rate of Internet access subscriptions is stabilizing at 85% of the population, fiber is becoming the majority for the first time. The proportion of users equipped with fiber or cable access thus reached 56%, i.e. +17 points compared to 2020. The increase in the connected rate is high regardless of the size of the municipality, but the place of housing has an impact on the technology used: 72% of respondents living in Parisian conurbations are connected by FttH or cable compared to 34% in rural municipalities.

These territorial gaps are being reduced thanks to a catch-up of the Parisian agglomeration by the rural communes in progress. Similarly, consumers are increasingly attentive to the quality of services and dissatisfaction remains concentrated in ultra-localized areas where fiber is not yet available. On mobile networks, the quality of service is deemed satisfactory by 85% of respondents, regardless of their usage. Although satisfaction gaps between territories persist, these are narrowing (-10 points compared to the last survey in 2019).

E-commerce settles in the landscape of habits

Under 70, the share of Internet users exceeds 96% in each age category. Only people over 70 stand out, with 63% of Internet users. Another notorious figure: on average, the French watch a screen 32 hours a week. More than half of the population spends an average of more than three hours a day in front of a screen. Results directly linked to the diversification of uses. Job search is progressing slowly (29% compared to 26% in 2017). 83% of unemployed workers use the internet to look for a job. Administrative and tax procedures no longer change much in the long term, but are already at a high level (71% of the population as in 2020, compared to 67% in 2017).

We also note that the uses of e-commerce remained post-lockdown. With the health crisis, habits have settled in and the share of online buyers that jumped during the health crisis has not dropped (77% compared to 76% in 2020). “Speed ​​and reliability of delivery are the most important criteria” points out Maya Bacache. However, some uses have lost notoriety, such as social networks (62% compared to 67% in 2020), already rejected by the youngest in recent years (68% compared to 84% in 2017).

Safety and trust at the forefront

Current events show that digital technology is subject to risks (cyberattacks, scams, loss of data, etc.). The survey results show that more than 50% of respondents feel that they have definitely (18%) or probably (38%) personally experienced unwanted access to their personal data via the internet. Thus, many take precautions with more (55%) or less (38%) constant vigilance. Respondents are also interested in the issue of data processing. The T&Cs of a social network or video-sharing platform were viewed by 52% of Internet users.

Among Internet users who have read the general conditions of use at least once, 77% indicate that this information is easily accessible. Ease of understanding, on the other hand, seems less present and 53% of Internet users who have consulted these T&Cs consider that they are easily understandable. Similarly, users are more inclined to use the mechanisms put in place by social networks or video-sharing platforms. Result: 42% of Internet users have already reported an inappropriate account or content. Reporters generally consider that the systems put in place are easily accessible (87%), easy to use (85%) and easily understandable (80%).

Complete mastery of the tools is not for tomorrow

48% of French people experience at least one form of difficulty that prevents them from fully using digital tools and the internet (+13 points compared to 2020). More than equipment or internet access, it is the complete mastery of digital tools that remains the main obstacle to the full use of digital (25%, +7 points compared to 2020). “The Covid crisis has allowed some to increase their skills,” observes Pierre-Louis Rolle, director of strategy and innovation at the ANCT, during the presentation of the results of the survey. However, the responses on digital inclusion show an increase in inequalities in the control of digital uses, particularly in online procedures. Two years after the start of the health crisis, on average, more than one in two French adults believe that they have better mastered these tools (56%). However, this average is underpinned by large disparities. “The percentage has increased on difficulties in carrying out online procedures” climbing to 54%, or +16 points compared to 2020. The French prefer online support (40%, +16 points compared to 2020).

Jean-Noël Barrot comments on these results: “It is essential, year after year, to understand what are the changes in the habits of French people as well as the questions and concerns that digital technology raises. This study allows us, the government, to refine the mechanisms. The government must provide answers to the concerns, in particular on accessibility, security and sustainability”. This should result in several lines of work. First of all, the right to very high speed (at least 30 Mbit/s, regardless of the type of connection). At the same time, it is a question of structuring, coordinating and perpetuating the digital inclusion policy carried out through the coordination of working groups. The government is aiming for support towards mastery and, ultimately, autonomy in use. In addition, it is a question of securing the digital space; the development of an anti-scam filter is in progress as well as more supervised access of minors to certain sites. Finally, in terms of sustainability, the State wants to speed up the reconditioning sector, which is still too little exploited.

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Digital barometer 2022: the French very connected and equipped – Computerworld

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