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Web surf? No, we're web serfs

93 pc of US home PCs wired to web, UK way behind

We all know that in terms of internet usage, we Brits are lagging behind the US. But the latest figures make us look like net serfs rather than web surfers.

A whopping 93 percent of US homes equipped with PCs now have internet access, marking a 10 percent increase over last year, according to a survey released yesterday by the Yankee Group. In contrast, figures from Ipsofacto.com reveal only 45.6 percent of UK PCs are hooked up.

Furthermore, Yankee analyst Lisa Melsted predicted that the number of US home PCs that already have net access would only increase another five percent, since a certain amount of the population will resist getting wired.

Still, only 65 percent of total US households currently boast home PCs, according to Yankee, just a three percent increase from last year. This is still 19 percent more than the UK's take-up, according to AC Neilson Research.

The survey, which polled 450,000 nationally representative US households by mail, also found that the top three uses for home PCs in the US are: getting online, playing games and accessing entertainment content, and toiling away at personal and household finances.

Home PC users are also becoming more experienced, according to the researcher's annual Technologically Advanced Family survey, with 83 percent of respondents saying that they have been online for more than a year and 40 percent reporting that they have been online for between one and three years. What's more, 43 percent of those polled said that they had access for over three years.

In the UK, however, 49 percent have been online more than a year and 21 percent have been online for between one and three years.


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