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UK Wireless Internet Use Rises
By: MarkJ - 29 August, 2006 (1:00 PM)

More than a third (35%) of UK Internet users have access to a wireless connection, with half of the 2,000 people surveyed by Populus for ISP AOL saying that the garden is their dream surfing location:

Half of all those surveyed chose the garden as their dream location to surf wirelessly, ahead of the bed or the beach. Just a quarter said they would most like to have wireless access from the bedroom, while 15% said they dreamed of surfing on sandy shores.

Those aged 18-24 were less keen to venture out of doors though, with 41% of this age group choosing their bedroom as their surfing sanctuary.

The majority (84%) of those who are already wireless have access in the home, with 12% using it at the office and the remainder using Internet hotspots. Three quarters of wireless users have started using it in the last year and over half (39%) have done so within the last six months, showing rapid growth in uptake recently.

Most of the people surveyed (63%) simply felt that the freedom of wireless was the greatest benefit, though nearly one in four (23%) felt it was tidier. This is more sensible than many might realise as a surprisingly high number of people suffer domestic injury from cables cluttering up the home.

According to figures from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more than 3,000 people every year are the victim of a domestic accident involving an electrical appliance lead or extension*.

Nearly one in six say they have stolen someone else's wireless bandwidth, with men (22%) far more likely to do it than women (6%) and it being more prevalent in London and the South East than elsewhere in the UK. Four out of five people believe that bandwidth thieves should be punished, with two thirds preferring a fine as punishment over a Net ban or prison sentence.

Of the third of online users with wireless access already, nearly half are 'professionals', with 41% living in London and 39% living in other areas of the South East. Nearly half are 18-24 year olds (43%) indicating significant use by young people who have been first to see the benefits of a wireless connection.

The news follows a similar item from iPass last week, which highlighted a growth in Wi-Fi Hotspot usage. Wireless is clearly becoming a technology of choice.

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