Home is Where the Net Is

More than 33 million Britons used the Internet in the second quarter of 2001, according to research from Jupiter MMXI, with most of them going online from their homes.

Jupiter MMXI’s “Online Market Landscape” surveys more than 5,000 people quarterly to examine Internet use in Britain. According to second quarter results, 61 percent of people use their home as their base to go online. Thirty-two percent said they go online from work, and about the same percentage said they go online from Internet cafés, libraries, friends’ houses and schools (multiple answers were allowed). Interestingly, among those accessing the Internet from work, more than half share their computer with one or more people, and 44 percent share their computers with three or more people.

Among the devices capable of accessing the Internet, game consoles and TV set-top boxes have seen the most dramatic increase in usage. Web surfing from gaming consoles increased by more than 1 million gamers in the second quarter alone to a total of three million. TV set-top boxes grew by half a million people in the second quarter. WAP phones do not appear to be popular Internet access devices. Less than 1 million people logged on from a WAP phone during the survey.

U.K. Internet users in the 35 to 49 age range are the biggest Web audience in Britain, Jupiter MMXI reported. They represent 25 percent of the online population, closely followed by those over age 50 (20 percent) and 25 to 34-year-olds (18.6 percent).

U.K. Internet Access by Device
Device Percent of
Net Access
Home Computer 61.0%
Work Computer 32.2%
Mobile Phone 10.4%
Game Console/
Other Home Device
TV Set-Top Box 4.3%
PDA 1.6%
Source: Jupiter MMXI

More than 11 million of the Internet users in Britain are considered “heavy” users of the medium, which means they go online more than three times a week. Nearly 4 million are “moderate” users, using the Web up to two times per week.

Freeserve remains the leading ISP for Internet users in Britain, with nearly 17 percent of the U.K. online consumers. AOL has a 12 percent share. But compared to other European markets, Jupiter MMXI found that Britain has a large number of smaller, niche service providers. The top five players in the Internet access market account for less than 50 percent of all home access. Jupiter MMXI also found the cost of owning a PC and accessing the Internet does remain an issue in Britain, with more than 4 million people visiting other people’s homes to access the Web and some business owners reserving Internet access for certain computers.

“For the first time, we can see the real penetration of the Internet in the U.K.,” said Mari Kim Coleman, senior vice president of measurement at Jupiter MMXI. “No longer the preserve of the few, it clearly appeals to a broad spectrum of people — old and young, male and female, rich and poor.”

For its part, NetValue‘s research found that 37.2 percent of the households in Britain were connected to the Internet in July 2001, with slightly more than 14 million individuals logging on from home. NetValue also found the online gender ratio favoring males 59 percent to 41 percent for women.

Top 10 Domains in the UK
July 2001
Top Domains in the UK Top Global Domains in the UK
Rank Domain Unique

Reach Rank Domain Unique

June July June July
1. 1. MSN.com 6,999 44.6 1. 1. MSN 8,434 53.8
2. 2. Yahoo.com 5,451 34.8 2. 2. Yahoo 6,698 42.7
3. 3. Microsoft.com 5,224 33.3 3. 3. Microsoft 5,255 33.5
6. 4. MSN.co.uk 4,938 31.5 5. 4. Passport 4,740 30.2
5. 5. Passport.com 4,740 30.2 4. 5. Freeserve 4,466 28.5
4. 6. Freeserve.com 4,466 28.5 6. 6. AOL 4,311 26.6
7. 7. MSN Messenger Service 3,448 22.0 7. 7. AskJeeves 3,692 23.5
8. 8. Yahoo.co.uk 3,397 21.7 8. 8. Lycos 3,485 22.2
10. 9. AOL Proprietary 2,995 19.1 9. 9. BBC 2,662 17.0
11. 10. Askjeeves.co.uk 2,899 18.5 10. 10. Google 2,482 15.8
Source: Jupiter MMXI

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