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Monday, 23 April, 2001, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
UK internet use growing
Graph showing percentage of households connected to the internet
More UK households are logging onto the internet than ever before, according to the latest survey from research firm Netvalue.

Households connected to the internet
US - 52.6%
Denmark - 48.8%
UK - 37.2%
Germany - 30.2%
France - 20.6%
More than nine million UK households are now connected to the internet - that is well over a third of all UK homes.

This puts the UK ahead of both France and Germany, but still significantly behind the US and Denmark for home internet use.

About 1.4 million new households took the decision to get connected in the last six months of the year.

Surfing favourites

Not only are more households logging onto the world wide web, but Britons are also spending more time surfing.

On average, users connected to the net from home on 24 occasions in March, the highest amount of time Britons have spent surfing so far.

Top ten sites
1. MSN
2. AOL TimeWarner
3. Yahoo
4. Microsoft
5. Freeserve
6. Lycos
7. BBC
8. Ask
9.Excite
10. Amazon
And women are also pressing in to bridge the digital gender divide.

Just under five million women used the internet in March, compared to 7.76 million men.

MSN - with its hotmail e-mail service - proved the most popular website.

The BBC's web sites remained the most popular content sites, while big gainers during the survey period included Comic Relief, which had 5.5% of all internet users visiting its site in March.

The foot-and-mouth crisis also drove traffic to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food website, with 2.3% of all surfers visiting it, for an average of 23 minutes during the month.

BT's yellow pages Yell.com was the most popular directory website and the tenth most active advertiser in March, rankings that will boost its prospects for a sale or possible flotation.

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See also:

26 Mar 01 | Business
Time for plug and go internet?
26 Jan 01 | Business
Unmetered access: your views
02 Feb 01 | Business
Online auctions: Beware
03 Apr 01 | Business
UK behind in broadband race
19 Dec 00 | Business
UK internet access rises
08 Jan 01 | Business
Cyber cafes - on the demise?
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