Internet Use Surges in UK

nternet usage in the UK is continuing to surge, with the vast majority of people happy with the service they get, according to telecoms watchdog Oftel's latest quarterly survey.

At the end of May the numbers of homes connected to the net at home is 10 million - up from 6 million a year earlier.

The figures mean that every eight seconds one
UK household gets connected to the internet for the first time.

The speed of take up has increased in the last three months, with digital television and mobile phones making it easier to connect to the web.

"We are delighted that more and more people are using the internet and we are now embarking on further research to find out why there has been this massive rise," said a spokeswoman from Oftel.

Not only are more and more Britons logging on, they are also happy with the service they are receiving, according to the survey.

Nine out of ten users said that they were satisfied with their Internet Service Provider (ISP), while more than a third of people said they were "very satisfied".

Freeserve retained its position as the UK's most widely used ISP, but was closely followed by AOL.

All age groups have increased their use of the internet, but penetration remains highest amongst younger and middle aged groups, higher income and large households.

Almost a fifth of consumers over the age of 55 also surf the web from home.

The time spent online by the average weekly
household has risen to more than seven and a
half hours.

And customers with unmetered packages spent
about twice as long online as those on pay per use packages.

The number of homes plumping for fully
unmetered products increased to 24% in May,
compared with 18% in February.

The Oftel survey also revealed that about 70%
of UK adults own mobile phones at the end of
May, of which about 79% subscribe to
pre-paid packages.

And about 15% of consumers consider their
mobile phone to be their main method of
making and receiving calls.

about 9 out of 10 consumers without a fixed
line at home use a mobile phone and only one
in a hundred homes own neither a mobile or
fixed line phone.

The surveys were conducted by MORI amongst
2,089 UK adults as part of Oftel's quarterly
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