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UK losing digital divide battle

Homes without net access remain reluctant

UK households that have yet to get a connection to the internet are growingly increasingly resistant to the web, according to a report from research firm Point Topic.

The company's latest UK broadband analysis focuses on the households being left behind by broadband Britain, warning that there remains a barrier to achieving higher levels of access that will result in a deepening of the digital divide.

Point Topic said that in early 2006, 11.2 million homes – or 44 percent of the total – didn't have an internet connection, and many of those were unlikely to consider setting one up.

"Many of those who thought it was important to have the internet have signed up to a service already," said Katja Mueller, chief analyst at Point Topic. "As the number of non-access households shrinks, those that are left are increasingly resistant to its appeal. This could prove a high barrier to achieving much higher levels of internet access."

The report says that the vast majority of Brits have heard of the internet, but only 26 percent of people from non-access households believe they have a good knowledge of how to use it.

What's more, 43 percent of internet have-nots declined to answer when asked about the likelihood of them subscribing to a net connection in the next six months, with only 16 percent considering it "very likely" or "fairly likely".

Reluctance to join the net revolution is down to three things: lack of need or interest; cost or other material constraints; and lack of the necessary skills, according to the report.


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