Headlines: June 7th, 2001

A survey by Oftel has revealed that initiatives to reduce the digital divide between those who have access to electronic e-government services and those who do not, have had little impact. Access to the Internet has continued to grow with 34% of UK homes connected. The figure was 30% in November 2000. This represents an increase of 1 million homes connected to the Internet since November. Access continues to remain highest amongst younger and middle aged groups, higher income and large households.Although a further 15% of UK homes thought they would be likely to connect to the Internet within the next 12 months, but over 36% said they didn’t want or need the Internet at home. This digital divide might however be narrowed by the finding that Digital TV appears to be an increasingly popular means of connection amongst lower income groups. Younger consumers in particularly are starting to use alternative methods including mobilephones, games consoles and personal organizers as well as digital TV.