MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian online users celebrate the Internet Day in the country on Sunday.
The history of the Russian Internet Day goes back to 1998, when IT Infoart Stars offered to count all Internet users in Russia on the last day of September. The count revealed that one million users had Internet access at that moment. Since then, Russian Internet providers, companies and organization active on the Internet market have been marking the Internet Day.
September 30 however may not be considered as a birthday of Russian-language Internet. Russian users also celebrate April 7 as a birthday of .RU domain extension that was created in 1994. Now, along with .RU, Russia has two more domain extensions, namely .РФ in Cyrillic alphabet and .SU, a survivor from the Soviet era.
Russian currently ranks first among European countries in terms of the number of Internet users (58.8 million). Second is Germany, with its 51.8 million users, and third is France (43.2 million). According to public opinion polls conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Centre (VCIOM), the number of online users in Russia increased by 10 percent in 2011 alone.
According to Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the coordination centre of the national domain, Internet has become a basic need for active users, especially among teenagers, with 100 percent of young people aged from 12 to 18 using the Internet regularly.