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Freeserve fingered as prime suspect for boosting Net use

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Home Internet access in the UK has jumped from five per cent to 17 per cent in just 18 months, according to a report published by Continental Research. The report breaks the figures down into school, home and work access, as well as figures for total use. The report says that 37 per cent of the population now have access to the Internet, and 22 per cent of adults -- or 6.5 million people -- have access at home. Of these, 40 per cent are social group AB and typically aged under 55, the marketing man’s ideal target, which should encourage companies to pursue to ecommerce. But the section of society most represented online is the student over 15. A massive 83 per cent of students are online, almost double the figure for the rest of the population. Frequency of use is also on the increase. A hefty slice of users, 44 per cent, go online every day, up from 28 per cent two years ago, and a further 19 per cent access the Web every two days. Continental Research's director, Colin Shaddick, said: "Chief contributors to growth are the introduction of free access services, such as Dixon's Freeserve, alongside the Christmas and January sales period." "Over the next six months, estimated take-up of home Internet access will jump by nearly 800,000 to bring the total to just under five million households. A further 750,000 individuals will get connected [away from home]." ®

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