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60% of Britons now Using the Internet

September 5 2001

Latest analysis from Jupiter MMXI reveals that between April and June this year, over 33 million Britons used the Internet. The Online Market Landscape surveys over 5,000 people every three months to understand how the Internet is accessed and used in the UK. Launched recently, the first published report covers April to June 2001.

Home is by far the most important access point for the Internet, with 61% of people using it as their base to log on, compared to 32% from work and the same proportion from a combination of venues - Internet cafes, libraries, friends houses and schools (the figures include a duplication of people using both). Of those accessing the Internet at work, over half share their computer with one or more people, and an astonishing 44% of workers currently share their computer with three or more people.

Clearly, the Internet can now be accessed from a range of devices, including WAP phones, PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants), digital TV and game consoles. The survey reveals that game consoles and TV set top boxes have seen the most dramatic increase in usage as access points for the Internet. Surfing the web from games consoles increased by over one million gamers in the last three months alone, to a total of three million; TV set top box web access grew by half a million people in the same period to a total of one and a half million.

However, despite the hype, WAP phones are not a popular place to access the Internet. Less than one million people logged on from a WAP phone in the period of the survey.

Clearly, with 60% of the population accessing the Internet in the last quarter, it is now a major part of everyday life for many people. 35 to 49 year olds are the biggest web audience, representing 26% of the online population, closely followed by 50+ and 25-34 year olds at 20% and 18.6% respectively.

As the number of people using the Internet increases, so does the amount of time spent online. Over 11 million people are categorised as "Heavy Users", accessing the Internet more than three times a week. Nearly four million are "Moderate Users", using the web up to two times per week.

Freeserve remains the leading ISP for home users in the UK, with nearly 17% of all users choosing it as their Internet Service Provider, followed by AOL with a 12% share. However, compared to other markets in Europe, the UK has a large number of smaller, niche service providers, with the top five players accounting for less than 50% of all home access. BTInternet, NTL and Virgin.net each hold a relatively small market share.

The cost of owning a PC and accessing the Internet does remain an issue in the UK, with over four million people visiting other peoples home to access the web, and some business owners limiting Internet access to certain computers in their offices.

According to Mari Kim Coleman, Senior Vice President of Measurement, "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. The detail in this report provides a true picture of the online landscape in Britain and shows advertisers and businesses where they should focus."

The Online Market Landscape is produced from Jupiter MMXI's Enumeration survey. The survey, which is used to weight Jupiter MMXI's representative panel of at home web users, was recently audited by the French organisation CESP (Centre of Study of Advertising Supports). This commended both the methodology of the enumeration survey, and the quality of the system for weighting the panels of at home Internet users.

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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