Britain's Internet divide widening, research suggests

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wotd.pngNew research from Point Topic suggests that the divide between those with access to the Internet, and those without, could be widening.

Whilst those with Net access are accessing it at increasing speeds and putting more of their lives online, those who don’t want the Net are potentially falling behind.

These ‘refuseniks’ (oh when will we stop inventing these words – at least it’s not an acronym) account for 44% of UK households, around 11.2 million people, and of these 70% say they have little or no intention of getting connected.

It’s easy to think that virtually the whole of the UK is connected, so figures like these might seem surprising. The main reasons given for not going online are a lack of need or interest, cost of equipment and connection, and a perceived lack of skills required to use the Internet.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the percentage of people with Net access falls as their age increases, with 85% of 16-24 year olds having access, 79% of 25-44 year olds, 68% for 45-54 and 55-64 year olds, and 55% of 65-74 year olds, according to the Office for National Statistics.

So, does it matter? After all, it is (apparently) possible to live quite a happy life without using the Internet… so I’ve heard.

Andy Merrett