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Seven million adults in the UK -- around 15 per cent of the 18+ population -- regularly use the Web and that figure is increasing by around 6000 a day, according to internetTrak research. The figures show that Web penetration in the UK is at the same level today as it was in the US two years ago and that during the last six months, the UK has been experiencing similar growth rates to the US. As a result, Web penetration in the UK is growing faster than in France and Germany, the two other European countries featured in the research. Around 1.6 million people have bought a product or service online in the last three months and a further 2.9 million expect to spend still more cash online next year. All of which appears to show that the UK has a healthy interest in the web despite the high cost of accessing the internet in this country. Conducted by NOP on behalf of Ziff-Davis, Yahoo! and Dell, internetTrak provides a snapshot of Web-life that provides much food for thought but little else sustenance. While there is little doubt that the web is becoming a part of everyday life -- especially for gathering information -- people are unhappy at the sluggishness of Web access and navigation. They are also still unsure about the security of buying online and feel more comfortable with handing out their credit card details over the phone than they do online. Despite all the optimism, the viable reality of e-commerce is still appears to be some way off. ®

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