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20% of unconnected Brits to get online by 2010

Two in five still not interested in web

One in five Brits still not connected to the internet access will get online in the next six months, says Ofcom.

According to the telecommunications watchdog, 30 percent of all UK adults are not currently online and the majority fall into two categories; the self-excluded and the financially excluded.

Almost two in five of those not online fall into the self-excluded category. Ofcom said they were likely to be retired with 61 percent of them admitting to never having used a computer.

Ofcom said a third of those not online felt they were financially excluded from the web, with 27 percent saying they don't currently own a computer and were unlikely to be able to afford one. The ability to afford monthly payments for internet access was also highlighted as a concern.

The research also revealed that of those planning to get online in next six months, the majority already use the web away from the home, are working and have children.

Ofcom's partner for strategy and market development, Peter Phillips, said: "Broadband is becoming increasingly important to peoples' ability to participate in the economy and society. The research shows that some creativity will be required if we wish to capture the imaginations of those who have yet to engage with the benefits the internet may bring."

James Parker, broadband manager at comparison website moneysupermarket.com, said those looking to sign up to broadband for the first time may find it cheaper than they expected.

"Ofcom's latest research shows that a third of people not connected to the internet worry about the financial implications of having broadband," said Parker. "If you already have a TV subscription, it is likely your provider will throw in broadband for free so ring them up and haggle for a good deal."

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