Ofcom: One in five adults to get online

Thursday, June 11 2009, 08:48 BST

By Andrew Laughlin
Ofcom: One in five adults to get online

Ofcom has claimed that one in five UK adults who are presently not accessing the internet at home plan to get the service within the next six months.

The telecoms regulator recently conducted research into why 30% of adults - constituting around 17 million people - do not currently access the internet in their homes.

Primarily younger adults make up those who intend to get online in the next six months, generally those who have accessed the service elsewhere first.

Ofcom found that primary motivations for using the internet were to discover information (36%), communicate with family or friends (26%) and keep abreast of technology (26%).

However, 42% of those surveyed indicated that they have no interest or need for the internet at home, which Ofcom has termed the 'self-excluded' group of mainly older or retired people.

A further 30% stated that they don't access the internet at home for cost reasons, which the regulator has termed the 'financially excluded' group.

Ofcom's partner for strategy and market development Peter Phillips said that broadband is "becoming increasingly important" in way people access society and the economy.

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

"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."