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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
Silver surfer on broadband trip
Margaret Koroidovi
Margaret Koroidovi has discovered a new world online
What people are actually doing with broadband and the impact it has on individual lives is often lost in the broader picture of rising numbers taking up the technology and news of cheaper, faster and more innovative services.

For many, news that Google has bought a video-sharing website or that net telephony is going to be the next big thing is irrelevant to what they are actually doing online.

Margaret Koroidovi has been making a diary of her first experiences with broadband for BBC News.

It has been a positive enough experience for her to get broadband installed in her home, which is quite a leap from the tentative first steps she took online at her local Age Concern group in Hackney.

Her previous experience of using computers was negative - when technological advances at the betting firm she worked for meant her job was no longer needed her firm decided to make her redundant rather than retrain her.

Voyage round my father

Margaret Koroidovi
She has used the net to search for her dad

But at the age of 60 she realised it was time to become a silver surfer.

"I'm getting older and I realised that technology isn't just for younger people, it is for everyone and that I shouldn't be afraid to go and try it," she told the BBC News website.

The trip to her Age Concern computer group proved to be a journey worth making and one that set her on a whole new voyage.

TV over broadband

"It has opened up a whole new world. My father was an African/American GI and I am using the web to try and trace him," she explained.

"At first it was a little scary as there are so many sites but once I got up and running it was fine," she said.

Mrs Koroidovi has since, with the help of Age Concern, set up her own website as part of that search.

So far she hasn't found her father although she has been in touch with several people and followed up some interesting leads - all of which were made possible by being online.

She has also joined the internet telephony generation and is very confident using her webcam for video chats.

She is now using the internet to pursue her other hobbies of knitting and gardening.

"It means I'm not just sitting watching the TV but I'm learning about things and finding things out," she said.

Mrs Koroidovi is thinking about booking a holiday to Spain online although she still has some reservations about giving out her credit card details.

And shopping is not something she plans to do online.

"I prefer to see what I'm buying. I like shopping to be personal," she said.

The BBC Six O'Clock News' series of reports on Broadband Nation concludes on Friday.

See Margaret Koroidovi's webcam chat

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