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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Million more UK homes go online
Fibre optic
The report found that broadband usage was on the rise
The number of UK homes with internet access has gone up by nearly a million over the last year, figures suggest.

Some 15.2m UK households - 61% of homes - now have an internet connection, compared with 54% in 2006, research from National Statistics found.

London and south-west England had the highest percentage online at 69%, with Northern Ireland lowest at 52%.

In total, 84% of web-enabled households said they had a broadband connection, up from 69% in May 2006.

Internet shopping

The research found that age was a significant factor in determining whether individuals were likely to go online, National Statistics said.

"There was still a large difference between the number of young and older people accessing the internet," it said.

According to the report, 71% of those aged over 65 said they had never used it, while the figure for those aged 16 to 24 was just 4%.

It found that internet shopping is also on the increase, with 53% having bought goods online, compared with 44% last year.

But the research found evidence that users were not taking threats to their online security seriously enough.

A total of 46% of internet users said they had never or hardly ever made a back-up of files on their computer - and of those, 21% had had a computer virus in the last 12 months.

The figures were compiled from the National Statistics Omnibus Survey conducted each month with 1,200 adults aged over 16 in Great Britain, and with 400 adults in Northern Ireland in May 2007.

They echo a recent report by Ofcom which found older media such as TV, radio and DVDs are being abandoned in favour of more modern technology.

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