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More Britons than ever before get online

Shopping and email popular, digital TV access not...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Shopping and email popular, digital TV access not...

The number of individuals and households getting online is still growing rapidly, according to the latest government survey into the nation's internet habits. As well as the increasing popularity of email and online shopping, a government spokeswoman attributed the rise in take-up to word-of-mouth. "Many people are encouraged to get online by members of their family and friends," she said. While more than half the population has used the internet in the last three months, the survey revealed it is 16 to 24-year-olds who are keenest on the web – more than 80 per cent have been online in the last quarter. Older generations are still showing more reluctance to get online though, with those over 65 making up only a tiny fraction of users, a statistic the government's spokeswoman put down to "perceived barriers such as cost and access and relevance". Broadband is one of the beneficiaries of the prolonged growth in internet usage, with around 20 per cent of all connections plugging into a fat pipe. Other ways of accessing the web fared less well, however, with digital TV's share too small to calculate and internet via mobile phones showing a small but promising following. Flashing the cash over the web is also gaining popularity, with a significant amount of those consumers who bought goods online spending more than £500 in the last three months.
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