BT set to study UK internet have-not’s

Ever wonder why 39% of the UK’s population continue to shun the Internet? Probably not, unless you’re an ISP or write ISP news sites, which may explain why BT has had enough of guesswork and instead gone on the hunt for answers.

The operator has announced its intention to employ a team of psychologists that will study a group of Internet have-not’s in an effort to shed some light on the problem. Early research has reportedly already revealed that people can find using the Internet stressful and confusing, not unlike visiting a government website then:

Dr David Lewis, the lead psychologist employed on the project, said that for many people the biggest barrier to getting online was mental as many of those avoiding the net lived in homes with a dedicated connection. He said: "More often the barriers are internal, stemming from a fear of the technology."

"It will be interesting to see whether the trial will be enough to build the participants' online confidence, or whether more needs to be done in terms of support and guidance to help them to become tech savvy," he said.

By contrast to novices, many seasoned net users find the experience of going online very relaxing, said Dr Lewis.

It's not clear from the BBC News Online item when the study will be completed but we expect some interesting results. We know what the BORG (StarTrek) would say about trying to avoid the Internet - “Resistance is futile!”, although they did wear funny makeup, plastic masks and wanted to dominate the universe.

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