As the Commission's non-commercial host, ECHO provides user support and guidance, as well as access (mainly free-of-charge) to a range of databases offering European information. The following statistics were recorded for 1993: The total number of connect hours was almost 58,000, representing an approximately 37% increase over 1992. The number of connections to ECHO in 1993 amounted to about 270,000. The cumulative total of registered users at the end of 1993 was almost 16,000, of which about half were first-time users. The Internet phenomenon has also had a noticeable effect on ECHO usage. Over 800 connect hours during November 1993 involved connection via Internet. A further boost can be expected in 1994 if ECHO is actively promoted as an information host at strategic entry points to Internet.