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Broadband

From: Candace Smith <candace4modeling@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 16:30:03 -0700
Message-ID: <44ECE4FB.7DEC@yahoo.com>
To: public-ws-desc-meps@w3.org

The number of broadband households in the UK is set to
pass 10m, boosted by the recent spate of "free" fast internet
offerings, according to the Office for National Statistics.

New media executives hailed the latest ONS figures as
providing proof that "web 2.0" - providing richer content,
including video, more user-generated interactivity and
material - was making its presence felt in the UK.

ONS's Omnibus Survey, an annual report that examines
internet access among households and individuals, showed
that of the 14.3m UK households with an internet
connection at the end of June, 9.87m - or 69% - had
broadband.

At the current rate of growth, the number of UK domestic
broadband connections should pass 10m well before the
end of the year.

In terms of all UK households - taking into account those
without internet access - broadband has reached 40% of all
homes.

The ONS included Northern Ireland in its figures for the
first time this year.

Figures in last year's survey for Great Britain only showed
just 28% of households had broadband.

The rise of broadband penetration is being fuelled by a
recent spate of "free" broadband offers and competitive
package deals from firms such as The Carphone
Warehouse, Orange, BSkyB and BT.

A separate ONS survey of internet service providers, which
includes business as well as household connections, showed
that 72.6% had broadband. This was up from 54.4% in
June last year.

"Broadband is taking off. There is clearly a disproportionate
number of broadband connections versus traditional dial-up
connections," said George Hadjigeorgiou, the general
manager for European communications products at Yahoo!.

"There is a price war in the UK and these figures are
confirmation of the move from web 1.0 to web 2.0. If the
first phase was about breadth, it is now about depth, with
users spending more time online using much more video and
music services."

The ONS households-only survey also shows marked
regional differences in overall internet and broadband
uptake.

Overall, 57% of British households have some form of
internet connection.

The region with the highest percentage of overall internet
access was the south-east with 66%. The area with the
lowest was Scotland with 48%.

In terms of broadband penetration, London led the country
with nearly half - 49% - of all households having fast
internet access.

Northern Ireland was the least broadband-connected
region with just 28% having a fast internet service.

Overall, 43% of UK households still have no internet
connection. This varies regionally, with Scotland the least
internet-enabled part of the UK, with 52% of households
still having no access at all.

This compares with the south-east, where only one in three
households are yet to connect to some form of internet
service.

The two main reasons given by households for not having a
connection were that it was not needed or useful (24% of
those surveyed) and a lack of skills to use the internet (also
24% of respondents).

On a gender basis, 40% of women have never used the
internet, compared with 30% of men.
But only 10% of 16- to 24-year-olds had never used the
internet, compared with 82% of the 65-plus group.

The most popular activity online is searching for goods and
services, according to 84% of those surveyed who had
 accessed the internet over a three month period.

However, the most popular activity for women was email.
Of those who purchased goods online in the last 12 months,
films and music were the most popular products, followed
closely by travel or holiday accommodation.

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Received on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 23:28:27 GMT

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