UK e-business trails behind rest of Europe

UK e-business was delivered a blow by the recent broadband usage figures
from Nielsen//NetRatings, which show the country trailing behind the rest of
Europe.

Only 9 per cent of UK households use a high-speed internet connection
compared to 39 per cent in Germany and 33 per cent in Sweden. France has a far
lower percentage of internet penetration overall, but has a higher number of
households using broadband. Eighty-six per cent of UK internet users are still
using modems of 56k or less.

"This time last year, 5 per cent of British surfers were using a
high-speed internet connection," says Tom Ewing, internet analyst at
Nielsen/NetRatings. "Broadband is growing in this country but the
Government’s stated target of being the G7 leader in broadband connectivity by 2005
is absurd if you set it against current rates of growth."

Broadband internet connections offer a high-speed, ‘always-on’ link to the
web that encourages increased use of the internet as web pages are accessed
faster. Costs are controlled by a set subscription fee which eliminates any
additional call charges for the time spent online. It makes access to
multimedia programmes and presentations, such as e-learning material, far more
viable.

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