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The Internet is merely a minority pursuit in the global scheme of things, according to the latest batch of research from Ipsos-Reid.

It found that less than one in ten people (400 million) used the Net out of a global population of six billion.

Even in "developed" Net nations a third of people said they were uninterested in the Net.

Ipsos-Reid spoke to people in 30 countries. Four out of ten people said they had no need for the Net. A third of those questions said they didn't have a computer and a quarter of those quizzed said they had no interest.

Other reasons for not getting online included cost and lack of time.

Brian Cruikshank, a senior vice president with Ipsos-Reid, said: "In the developed world, a substantial number of people who could very easily go online have decided not to.

"They see no compelling reason to be on the Web. The hype and the promise of the Internet clearly hasn't impressed them - not yet, at least.

"For others in nascent, less developed markets, the cost of accessing the Internet competes with the cost for basic necessities and access availability is very limited outside of urban areas," he said.

Ipsos-Reid found that 98 per cent of respondents owned a TV, 51 per cent owned a cell phone, 48 per cent owned a home computer, but only 36 per cent had home Net access. ®

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