Broadband threatening TV, suggests AOL report

More than half – 59 per cent – of people in the UK with access to broadband log on to the Web before breakfast, according to a new report, while one in five (21 per cent) admit to getting up in the middle of the night to surf the internet.

The PC is also proving to be even more of a threat to television than had been thought: 28 per cent of those surveyed now access the internet not from a home office or a bedroom, but from their living room. More than half (54 per cent) of broadband users have a TV in the same room where they access the internet.

The report, Broadband Britain, was commissioned by AOL UK and compiled by think-tank Demos. AOL UK chief executive Karen Thompson says broadband is turning the internet from a piece of technology into “an integral part of home life in the UK, with many people spending time on their computers as automatically as they might switch on the TV or radio”.

Broadband will have a fundamental impact not just on business and marketing, she says, but on all aspects of everyday life in the UK – in particular, access to public services, health and education.

John Craig, co-author of the report, adds: “Broadband is putting the ‘me’ into media as it shifts power from institutions and into the hands of the individual.”

Significantly, consumers who have broadband – which offers “always on” access to the internet ââ¬â are far more likely to be regular uploaders of information: 57 per cent of broadband users say they have created and posted content on the internet, which they would not have done offline: 59 per cent have posted comments on message boards, with 56 per cent posting content more than once a month and 18 per cent every day. More than one in four broadband users – 28 per cent – have their own website.

Broadband is also facilitating the creation of communities, with 81 per cent of users e-mailing people they would otherwise lose contact with and 26 per cent using the internet to organise informal events.

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