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High-speed have-nots: Why don't you have broadband?

There are those who can but don't, and those who can't but would if they could...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

There are those who can but don't, and those who can't but would if they could...

A staggering 80 per cent of dial-up internet users claim the lack of availability in their area is the reason why they do not have a broadband connection, according to a survey conducted by silicon.com. Broadband is currently available to 70 per cent of the UK population, according to a spokesman for BT Openworld, but with much of the population living in cities and towns, the actual geographical spread of the service is still far from comprehensive. silicon.com reader Michaela Robins said: "Recently I have been looking for a new house and discovered that I had to eliminate certain areas as I would lose my broadband capability. As I work from home frequently I could not live somewhere without it." Reginald Walsh, another silicon.com reader, added: "Here in the South-West of England provision of broadband is very slow in the rural areas. This does not seem fair. Since we are told that 70 per cent of the country can receive broadband, could not the government and the service providers get together and provide equal facilities for the remaining 30 per cent of the hard-working, tax-paying 'ruralites'?" But while the digital divide which still appears to blight rural Britain is the largest stumbling block for those who would have broadband, location is not the only issue. The other obstacle of note to would-be broadband users is cost - with 13.3 per cent of respondents saying high-prices have proven more prohibitive to signing up for broadband than availability, according to a survey conducted by silicon.com of more than 2,500 web users. Despite recent price cuts and special offers from most major ISPs it appears there are still those who value the pound above the Mbps. However, very few people - just 3.4 per cent - claim to have no need for broadband access, while only 2.5 per cent claim they would need to upgrade or replace their PC before they even think about accessing the high-speed internet.
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