Britons reject mobile and digital TV Internet access

It's official: TV is a turn-off, and the PC remains the most popular way of surfing the Web

The PC remains the primary way of accessing the Internet in Britain, with more than half of those online believing that they will never access the Internet through digital TV and mobile devices.

The Which? Online study published today indicates that the public are rejecting newer methods of accessing the Internet, with 94 percent of Britons sticking with the traditional PC as the main way of connecting to the Web.

Enthusiasm for accessing the Net through digital TV has significantly dwindled in the past year. Only one in five adults agree that they are looking forward to getting online in this way.

"A lot of people feel that digital TV isn't relevant to them, and doesn't offer any extra benefits," said a spokesman at the Consumers' Association.

But levels of interest in digital TV are a lot higher among future users of the Internet, with 42 percent of people who intend to go online at some point showing enthusiasm for facilities offered by digital TV.

Internet access through mobile phones received a similarly unfavourable response. Three in ten of those already online believe that they will start accessing the Net via digital TV or mobile phones at some point in the future, but only one in twenty expect this to be in the next six months. More than half think they will never use these methods of access.

Wireless devices such as PDA's or PalmPilots emerged as the least popular platform for accessing the Web, with less than a quarter of surfers feeling that they will use this technology in the future. The study suggests that this may be largely an educational issue, with consumers being unaware of the mobile services that are on offer. 56 percent claim that they will not get online via a mobile device, but one in five admit that they don't really understand the capabilities of wireless technology.

"Consumers are not fully aware of the mobile services that are out there," said the Consumers' Association spokesman. "3G will need to work at convincing them of the services that it will make possible."

More surprisingly was the enthusiasm that the study revealed for broadband services, particularly amongst experienced surfers. Seven percent claim to already have an ADSL connection or cable modem, and a further 44 percent envisage having a high speed Internet connection at some stage. One in ten hope to have this installed within the next six months.

"There is a real sense than when broadband comes in properly, it will really push people into the Internet," claimed the spokesman.

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