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Online takeup still low

Many Britons still not using the internet

Over half of the UK population still haven't signed up to internet services, according to research by telco watchdog Oftel.

Despite the surge in broadband subscriptions, the survey showed internet takeup as a whole has levelled off over the last year, remaining at around 42 percent. The reason, says the study, is that the people who have switched to broadband were already dialup users.

In a bid to push more people to its broadband services, BT Openworld has announced it will be trialling its popular Home 500 product in major high street stores in a 'broadband-in-a-box' format.

Once BT has enabled the phone line, customers can simply plug in and go. The £50 offer with run until 31 March and will be available in selected Maplin, Toys'R'Us and Procom stores.

"We're making [broadband] tangible, so that customers can see it, touch it and take it," said Duncan Ingram, director at BT Openworld.

The government's battle to increase internet takeup figures will continue with a nationwide advertising campaign due to start in May. TV advertising, fliers and posters will target specific groups such as the over 55s and those from ethnic minorities.


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