One in five adults to get online in next 6 months

One in five adults who do not have internet access at home are likely to sign up in the next six months, according to research from Ofcom.

The research looks at the reasons why 30% of UK adults do not have the internet at home and the barriers which prevent them from taking it up in the future.

The research follows the recent Communications Consumer Panel research that revealed that many people already regard broadband as an essential service at home similar to gas and electricity.

Those intending to get the internet in the next six months are more likely to be younger and working, use the internet already outside of the home and have children.

The main reasons cited for getting internet access is for information or to source information (36%) followed by social networking (26%), keeping up with technology (25%) and because friends and family recommended it (25%).

It comes ahead of the Government's Digital Britain report to be published before the summer, which will develop the idea of universal broadband in the UK.

The research also identified two main groups of people without the internet who do not plan to access the internet at home. These were the self excluded, who tended to be older and retired, and the financially excluded, who simply can not afford it.

Among the self-excluded 61% had never used a computer and many said they felt too old or believe it is for younger people.

Thirty per cent of adults said their main reason for not accessing the internet at home was that it was too expensive or they did not have the knowledge or skills to use it.

Peter Phillips, Ofcom's partner for strategy and market development, said "Broadband is becoming increasingly important to peoples' ability to participate in the economy and society.

"The research shows some genuine opportunities for policy makers wishing to drive take up of internet services.

"But it also 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."

The full report can be accessed on the Ofcom website.

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