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Millions Of Brits Don't Want Internet Access

In what could be seen as a major blow to the UK government’s ambitious ‘broadband for all’ plan for a universal 2mbps internet connection, millions of UK adults who don’t have access to the web at their homes would prefer staying unconnected even if they were provided a free computer and broadband, a survey from Ofcom revealed.

The study from the broadcasting watchdog disclosed that around 70 percent of UK adults have access to the internet at home which means that up to 17 million Britons are currently offline.

In addition, the survey also looked into some of the reasons of why almost one in three adults is deprived of internet access, along with why they may not go for it in future.

As many as 42 percent of the survey respondents claimed the lack of interest or need as the main reason for not having access to the internet yet.

Furthermore, people who voluntarily opted out from using the internet tend to be retired and older and 61 percent of them revealed that they never used a computer before.

However, offering relief to the government, the survey also notified that around one in five adults who don’t have internet access at home are likely to go online within six months.

This group of people planning to take up the internet is likely to have younger people in it, the research added. Their prime reasons for accessing the internet were found to be information (36 percent), followed interacting with friends and family (26 percent), aligning with changing trends of technology (25 percent), as well as because friends and family recommended it (25 percent).

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Our Comments

It was always likely that a significant proportion of the UK population would not want to get connected online. After all, there is still a group of around 34,700 users that prefer to watch television in black and white rather than in colour. Furthermore, broadband is significantly more expensive and requires a computer to get the best of it.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.