New research suggests that the internet will contribute an additional €6 billion to the Irish economy by 2016.

A report by cable company UPC on the country's digital future shows that despite the recession, Irish people are forward looking ''Digital Optimists''.

The report reveals that 80% of adults use the internet here, up from less than 50% in 2007.

It also shows that Irish people spend an average of 2.6 hours online every day and 70% of internet users already shop online.

UPC notes that 69% of people say their broadband speed is sufficient for their needs, but 44% say it is not sufficient for their future likely needs.

Today's report also shows that over 7% of companies supply smartphones and laptops to about a third or more of their staff, while a third of adults use the internet at home for work purposes. It also predicts that six in ten workers are expected to work from home some or all of the time by 2016.

One in four businesses believe they could have an extra 5% growth on top of their current prospects with the right online strategy, while nearly half of all businesses have seen an increase in online feedback from customers in recent years.

The report was launched today by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte. The Minister said the report indicates many of the benefits that are achievable through greater digital take-up and internet usage across Ireland.