Research commissioned by BTopenworld has found that the Internet has sparked a resurgence among a new breed of home-based Internet entrepreneurs, or "interpreneurs". Fifty-two percent of entrepreneurs feel they couldn't work from home without access to the Internet.
Around half (49 percent) of the 335 respondents surveyed said that home-working or teleworking was a lifestyle choice, with the Internet enabling them to share ideas with other people and conduct business while avoiding the drudgery of the of the office and the time and expense of commuting. Around two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents also stated that the Internet has provided them with new business opportunities.
Teleworking in the UK has grown at an average of 13 percent per year and is up to 70 percent higher than five years ago.
Commenting on the rise of teleworking, Tony Harris, president of Business Internet Services at BTopenworld, said: "the new business strategists are succeeding where their business dot-com predecessors failed because they are more realistic about the role of the Internet in their businesses. Most are using technology to support their business proposition and complement sales rather than putting the Internet at the core of their business model."
Broadband Internet access is playing an important role in facilitating teleworking. One ISP has dropped the price below the £20 a month barrier. More than 13 per cent of those surveyed said they were already using broadband, with a further 19 per cent planning to install a high-speed, always-on connection within the next 12 months.
Broadband take-up has doubled in six months. Figures released by Oftel show that at the end of June 2002 a total of 709,000 consumers and small and medium-sized businesses had signed up for a broadband connection. This is an increase of some 113 percent compared to the start of the year, when there were only 332,000 broadband subscribers.
Internet-based entrepreneurs in the 16 to 34-year-old age group are leading the transition to broadband, with two-thirds of those surveyed placing it at the top of their shopping list. "The most valuable finding of this survey is proof of how much of a lifestyle enabler the Internet is -- not only in terms of promoting a work-life balance, but also by allowing people to realise their dreams and start their own business," added Harris. "It's especially encouraging to see that broadband has made such an impact so early on in the drive to promote mass market adoption."
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