geert lovink on Wed, 17 Sep 2003 08:48:40 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH FOR THE INTERNET? (Oxford Internet Institute)

From: "Enquiries" <>


  'While the battle for digital access is being won in Britain, government
and business now face a struggle to convince everyone that the Internet is
worth using,' concludes Professor Richard Rose of the Oxford Internet
Institute from the new Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS). The survey was
designed to learn who does and does not use the Internet and why. A
nationally representative random sample of 2,030 persons age 14 and up was
interviewed face to face between 23 May and 28 June 2003.

  The OxIS survey found that the average person has access to the Internet
in at least two out of four places: home, work, school or at a public
library. Only four percent of the British population lacks ready access to a
place where they could sign on to the Internet. The lack of a computer at
home is not a major obstacle, since the average Internet user goes on line
away from home as well as at home. Nor is having a computer at home a
sufficient reason for using the Internet.

  Among Britons age 14 and over, 59% currently use the Internet. The biggest
difference between users and non-users is age. Among those still in school,
98% are Internet users and among people of working age, 67%. By contrast,
only 22% of retirees use the Internet. Educational differences are less
important. All youngsters, whether or not they are numerate or literate,
appear able to click on the Internet, and a majority of working age people
without any O-level or GCSE qualifications now use the Internet.

  Once on line, the average person finds multiple uses for the Internet. The
most popular are to get information, browse the WorldWideWeb, email, and
shopping and youths tend to make more use of the web for studies than for
music or entertainment. Between a tenth and a fifth of users employ the net
to get news, banking or public services.

  The OxIS survey shows that among the two-fifths who don't sign on the
Internet there is no fear or dislike of using electronic technology. For
example, more prefer using a bank card machine than dealing with a bank
teller. 'People who don't use the Internet don't see how it will help them
in their everyday affairs', states Rose. 'For example, older people have
been educated, earned a living, shopped and paid bills for most of their
lives before the Internet came along.'

  Among the two-fifths who do not use the Internet, half are informed but
indifferent; they know someone who could send an email or get information
for them but have not bothered to ask for this to be done. An additional 7
percent are proxy users, who have asked for a friend to sign on the Internet
on their behalf. One in seven are excluded because they do not know anyone
who could send get on the Internet on their behalf, and this group divides
equally into those who are anti-technology and those who are apathetic.

  'Government and commerce will have to wait a generation or more before
nine-tenths of Britons regularly use the Internet', declares Professor Rose.
If all the people who told the Oxford Internet Survey that they were
definitely or likely to go on line in the next year did so, this would still
leave 34% off line.

  'Growth in Internet use can continue in Britain', notes Professor William
Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute. 'As individuals learn how
to use the Internet over the years, they become more confident in this new
medium and spend more time on a wider variety of activities'. Eleven percent
of the population now has Internet access to broadband at home. The
diffusion of broadband Internet services will increase the versatility of
the Internet while also opening the prospect of a new digital divide between
those who are on broadband and those who are not.

For detailed figures and tables click here
<>  if your internet connection
is Internet Explorer 5.0 or above or to download pdf files click here
<> .


FOR FURTHER DETAILS, contact Professor Richard Rose
<> , who directed the survey ( or
phone 01436-672164) or Professor William Dutton
<> , director of the Oxford Internet
Institute, at 01865-287210.




 Tables and graphics are laid out as below.

A1.  Where Britons could access the Internet.

   2.  Where Britons do access the Internet.

B1.  Internet use by age

   2.  Internet use by age and education

   3.  Internet use by age and social class

   4.  Internet use by age and gender

   5.  Left and right--on and off line

 C1.   How users use the Internet

   2.  Frequency of checking email

   3.  The Internet at work

   4.  Contacting public services

 D1.  Britons and the Internet

   2.  Non-users: Indifferent, negative and excluded

   3.  No perceived loss from not being on the Internet

 E1.  Households likely to be on line in a year

   2.  Households likely to have broadband in a year

Best wishes,

Dr Adrian Shepherd

Survey Research Officer
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford
1 St Giles,
United Kingdom

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