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61% of UK Households Without the Internet Felt no Need for it

Monday, August 12th, 2019 (12:29 pm) - Score 870
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The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published their annual ‘Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2019‘ report, which among other things reveals how 93% of all households in Great Britain had access to the internet in 2019 but 61% of those without the internet did not feel as if they needed it.

The new research also reveals that 87% of all adults used the internet daily or almost every day in 2019. Meanwhile fixed broadband ISP services continued to be the most popular type of household connection (98%) for those that go online (unchanged from last year), although it’s noted that 64% of households also connect via Mobile Broadband services (we assume they’re including ordinary 4G Smartphone data links here too).

Sadly while almost all households had access to the internet, some 7% did not. Most of these (61%) did not have access to the internet as they “felt that they did not need it“, while lack of skills and privacy / security concerns were also big discouraging factors, at 34% and 33% respectively.

We should point out that a separate study from the ONS in March 2019 (here) similarly noted that around 10% (5.3 million) of UK adults have either never used the internet or have not used it in the last three months (i.e. classing them as “internet non-users“), which again was largely put down to a mix of issues, albeit predominantly ones related to age or disability.

ons_uk_internet_households_august_2019

While almost all adults aged 16 to 44 years used the internet daily or almost every day (99%), the older age groups used it less frequently. This reduced across the older age groups, as 61% of adults aged 65 years+ used the internet daily, while 24% had not used the internet in the last three months.

Elsewhere 84% of all adults were found to have used the internet “on the go” (outside of the home) in 2019, such as by using a smartphone, laptop, tablet or handheld device. The ever growing availability of large 4G data allowances, improved service speeds and greater affordability no doubt play a big role here.

Otherwise email is still the most popular online activity (used by 86% of adults) and this is followed by finding information about goods or services (78%), internet banking (73%), reading online news (66%) and making video or voice calls (50%).

The study also notes some 82% of all adults had bought goods or services online in the last 12 months, which is an increase of 5% points since 2018. This is seen mainly in adults aged 35 year+, with a 6% point increase since 2018. By comparison, there was little change in adults aged under 35 years who shopped online. On the flip side this was the first time that 54% of adults aged 65 years+ had shopped online.

Apparently 44% of adult internet shoppers spent between £100 and £499 in the last three months, while just 15% spent more than £1,000 over the same period and 9% spent less than £50. Clothes or sports goods remain the most popular online purchase (bought by 60% of all adults) and this is followed by household goods (49%) and tickets for events (44%).

Sadly there is a darker side to internet use. Some 7% of all adults suffered fraudulent credit or debit card use during the last 12 months, which was attributed to their use of the internet. The most common online security issue experienced was fraudulent emails and messages (37%), which was followed by redirection to fake websites (usually asking for personal information) at 24% and 2% encountered problems with online identity theft.

Fake websites and fraudulent emails were common, but we note that only 2% of adults suffered financial loss as a result of these issues combined with identity theft.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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