Published: 8th Aug 2014
More than three in four Britons use the internet every day, new figures have revealed.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 76 per cent of adults in the country now access the web on a daily basis. This amounts to 38 million people and represents an increase of 21 million on the figure noted when the ONS started tracking internet access in 2006.
The organisation also revealed 74 per cent of UK adults have purchased goods or services online in 2014 so far, which is up from only 53 per cent in 2008. Clothes represent the most popular web purchase, with 49 per cent of people having bought some form of clothing online.
Household goods such as furniture and toys are the second most common source of web transactions, followed by travel arrangements like transport tickets and car hire.
A total of 22 million households now have access to the internet, which constitutes 84 per cent of the country's total. This figure has grown from just 56 per cent in 2006. Just over nine in ten (91 per cent) of these homes go online via a fixed broadband connection.
An increasing number of people are accessing the web via their mobile phone, with 56 per cent of adults having done this in 2014. Four years ago, the figure stood at just 58 per cent.
Last month, a study undertaken by telecoms watchdog Ofcom revealed 57 per cent of Britons now see the internet as essential for their everyday life, a figure which is not surprising when considered alongside those provided by the ONS.
Yet while people in the UK are keen to make the most of the web, many are having to get by with slow and unreliable connections. According to research carried out by Akamai, the UK has only the tenth fastest broadband in the world at present.
The organisation found the average download speed in the nation was 9.9 Mbps in the first quarter of this year; someway behind South Korea, which has the world's fastest broadband at 23.6 Mbps.
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