Only 53 percent of Italians are regular web users, compared to an EU average of 70 percent, according to the commission’s annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard.
The report found that while a catch-up is taking place among those countries with lower rates of internet use, Italy has seen its relative position slip “and now belongs to a group of countries with the lowest rates of use”.
This could be due to frustrations with connection and internet speed. Access to broadband faster than 30 Mbps was only available in 14 percent of Italian households, compared with an EU average of 53.8 percent, the survey found.
Meanwhile, less than six percent of small and medium-sized business in Italy use the internet to generate sales.
Italians also shop less online compared to their European counterparts. The figures showed that just 17 percent of Italians shop online, compared to 73 percent in the UK, 70 percent in The Netherlands and 65 percent in Germany.
General Federico Barilli, the secretary of Italia Startup, told The Local at the end of May that the small number of those with access to the internet is holding Italy back when it comes to the development of online businesses.