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Monday, 20 August, 2001, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
UK internet usage surges
Two people using the internet
The internet is stretching its appeal
Nearly two-thirds of people in the UK - or 33 million - now use the internet, according to a survey by Jupiter MMXI.

The survey found that while most people access the internet via their home or work computer, games consoles and TV set-top boxes are becoming increasingly popular.
Top 10 global net brands in the UK
1) MSN
2) Yahoo
3) Microsoft
4) Passport
5) Freeserve
6) AOL
7) Askjeeves
8) Lycos
9) BBC
10) Google
Source:Jupiter MMXI

It also found that internet users tended to be older than people might typically think.

Of those accessing the internet at work, 44% share their computer with three or more people.

The survey also confirmed the BBC's websites as the most popular content-only destination.

Home access

The home computer is the main way people get on to the net, with 61% logging on from home.

That is nearly double the share of internet users who use their computer at work for access.

Leading ISPs for home users in the UK
Freeserve 16.9%
AOL 12.3%
BT Internet 8.9%
NTL 6.3%
Virgin.net 2.9%
Source: Jupiter MMXI
But games consoles and TV set-top boxes are becoming an increasingly important way of logging on.

About three million people in the UK now use game consoles - such as the Sega Dreamcast - for internet surfing, that was a rise of one million during the April to June period.

There was also a 500,000 increase to 1.5 million in the numbers getting online via a TV set-top box.

The much-criticised WAP mobile phones were used by about 1 million to access the net.

'Broad spectrum'

The survey suggests the stereotypical view of the internet user being young and male is wide of the mark.

The study found that 35 to 49-year-olds are the biggest web audience, making up 26% of internet users.

And those aged over 50 made up the next biggest group and a fifth of all internet users.

This was closely followed by the 25-34 age group with 18.6%.

Jupiter MMXI says the rise in popularity of the internet amongst older people shows that the market is maturing.

Many elderly users are encouraged to use the net by younger relatives, and then discover they have more time available for web browsing.

Another sign of how the internet market has matured is that the split between male and female users is now almost 50/50.

"For the first time, we can see the real penetration of the internet in the UK. No longer the preserve of the few, it clearly appeals to a broad spectrum of people - old and young, male and female, rich and poor," said Mari Kim Coleman of Jupiter MMXI.

See also:

09 Jul 01 | Business
Internet use surges in the UK
23 Apr 01 | Business
UK internet use growing
20 Jun 01 | Business
Net police fail online shoppers
23 Mar 01 | UK Politics
UK internet schemes 'inadequate'
14 Jun 01 | Business
Women overtake men online
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