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'Silver surfers' surge in the UK

Web-connected over-65s on the rise

One in 10 of Brits aged between 65 and 75 got a broadband connection for the first time last year, causing a rise in 'silver surfers', according to Ofcom.

According to the telecoms regulator's latest Consumer Experience Report, the number of Brits with broadband has increased by three percent since 2009, but the number of 65- to 75-year-olds with net access grew by nine percent, while those aged 75 and over using the web increased by eight percent.

More than three quarters (76 percent) of all homes in the UK have access to the web, and just 15 percent of Brits who don't currently have an internet connection say they are not planning to install broadband in the next year. Of those with web access, 11 percent say mobile broadband is their main connection, while 86 percent use a fixed line as their main broadband connection.

Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of those aged 65 to 75, and 56 percent of those over 75, personally use a mobile phone, while 53 percent of those aged 65 to 75 have a PC at home. However, a third of 65- to 75-year-olds admit they struggle when using mobile technology.

When it comes to speed, Ofcom said the number of Brits dissatisfied with the speed of their broadband connection rose to 19 percent, from 14 percent last year, despite the fact that the average actual speed has increased by a quarter from 4.1Mbps to 5.2Mbps.

Ofcom also revealed the average mobile call charge has fallen from 15.1p per minute to 8.8p, which is driving the take-up of handsets. More than nine in ten (91 percent) of Brits now own a mobile phone, compared to 80 percent in 2006.

See also: Ofcom looks to bring broadband to rural areas


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