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The BBC's Internet Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones
"Thirty percent of the population now have access to the internet at home"
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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
UK internet use surges
Internet graphic
One million more people logged on at home in April
One million more homes have gone online in the UK during April and about 30% of the population now have access to the internet from home, according to a survey from research group AC Nielsen.

Nearly 18 million people in the UK now have internet access, the survey said, one million more than in March.

Five most popular internet domains

The surge in use in April can be attributed to the cut-throat competition in the internet access market.

Many providers now offer free internet access with no start-up and no or low telephone costs.

The UK is still some way behind the US - where 50% of the population have home internet access - but the price war is encouraging more people to log on.

Of the 17.9 million people that have internet access, 8.2 million actively use the net. This compares with 7.6 million active home users in March, out of a total 16.9 million.

While these figures may seem surprisingly high, they are at the conservative end of estimates.

Other net measurement agencies suggest as many as nine million homes could have internet access.

Men are still more likely to log on to the net than women. During April, 62% of web surfers were men.

In the US, however, men and women log on in equal numbers.

British surfers spend an average of just over five hours online a month, compared with nearly nine and a half hours in the US.

Microsoft comes top

Microsoft and Yahoo dominate the top five internet domains accessed by UK surfers, the survey found.

Top of the most popular domains was, which had three million visitors. Yahoo had 2.4 million users. These two were followed by, and Microsoft's

These figures are boosted by people who use MSN as their internet service provider and have not changed their default home page from the MSN portal site.

The top British-run website was the BBC, which came in at number nine.

Nielsen uses a panel of 9,200 people for its research.

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