Over the period of one month, officials measured how employees and students in Jönköping used the municipality’s 8,000 computers.
The results, which were presented on Wednesday, took city officials by surprise.
At times, up to 80 percent of the municipality’s internet capacity was used for file sharing, an activity which is oftentimes illegal.
In addition, employees and students spent an unexpectedly large amount of time visiting websites featuring pornography, weapons, racist messages, games, and online gambling.
“I would have never thought the problem would be this widespread,” said city director Martin Andreae to Sveriges Radio (SR).
During the month-long study, users spent a total of 1,300 hours, or the equivalent of four full-time positions, visiting inappropriate websites.
Users also often surfed on improper sites anonymously, in an attempt to hide computers’ IP addresses, a further indication that Jönköping’s computers were being used for unsuitable purposes.
“If we had realized how big the problem was, we would have done something to address it sooner,” Andreae told SR.
The municipality now plans on spending 500,000 kronor ($72,600) on technology that will block inappropriate sites, and to develop a new policy which will make it easier for managers to check on how employees’ are using the internet.