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FYR of Macedonia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The government that took office in September 2006 announced a specific policy in this field. For example: a computer for every pupil in elementary and high schools throughout the country (nearly 150 000 computers); free computer training for the population; free internet for every household; 5 000 students in informatics studies (500 with government's scholarship) etc. These targets should be fulfilled in the next two years, with a budget of 9 million EUR from the government and an additional 13 million EUR from international funds.

VAT for computer technology was also reduced from 18% to 5% and the first contingent of 50 000 computers have been purchased for schools. The government also realised the project "Macedonia - informatics country", introducing the possibility of free Internet access for everyone.

In July 2011, the new government changed the former Ministry for Information Technology to the Ministry for Information Technology and Public Administration.

Table 4:    Internet use by population, aged 15-74, 2012-2013




Internet users

926 903

1 053 544

Frequency of Internet use:




708 746

845 146

Once a week (at least)

157 666

161 790

Regular use (daily or once a week)

866 412

1 006 936

Once a month (at least)

52 614

46 608

Source:    State Statistical Office, Macedonia in Figures, 2013.

The number of persons aged 15-74 that used the Internet in the period January - March 2013 increased by 14% compared to the same period in 2012.

Figure 1:         Internet subscribers according Internet technology, 2013*

*             Agency for Electronic Communications, Report on the electronic communications market in RM, 2013.

Some of the new government (2014-2018) priorities in this sector are: 80% of the population to be covered by broadband internet; 90% of households to use the Internet by 2018; at least 33% of small and medium enterprises to sell their products on line; to decrease the price of roaming services etc.

In the first quarter of 2014, 67.6% of the total population aged 15-74 used a computer, while 68.1% used the Internet. The Internet was most used by pupils and students, i.e. 96.3%. In the same period in 2014, 68.3% of households had access to the Internet at home, of which 54.2% used desktop computers, 27.8% used portable computers, 18.9 used other mobile devices, 2.6% used smart TV, and 0.7% game consoles.

Chapter published: 06-10-2015

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