When it comes to the web, the French 'make haste slowly'

Show a French person the net, and you'll get a Gallic shrug of the shoulders...

Show a French person the net, and you'll get a Gallic shrug of the shoulders...

The French are showing a distinct lack of passion for the internet: only one in five of the population have an internet connection at home. And the immediate future doesn't look too bright either: a mere six per cent are considering getting online in the next year, and more than half have no plans to embrace cyberspace - ever. Thirty seven per cent of UK households now have net access. A report prepared for the French Ministry of Finance, Economy and Industry identified several key factors in the sluggish take-up: the low number of PCs owned by the French; the cost of telephone calls; the slow spread of broadband; and the ever-green Minitel service, which is still found in a quarter of French homes. The report, called The Internet: the French Make Haste Slowly, says: "Home connection will probably not be a reality for the bulk of the population for a long time."