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46% PREPARED TO USE TELEVISION TO PAY COUNCIL TAX: GALLUP POLL

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Given the opportunity, 60% of the British adult population would vote for future prime ministers via their televisi...
Given the opportunity, 60% of the British adult population would vote for future prime ministers via their televisions, a marked increase of 17% from 12 months ago. This is just one of the findings in research commissioned by Pace Micro Technology, a manufacturer of the set top boxes which enable digital television. The findings of the research, carried out by Gallup, indicates a broad growth in both confidence and awareness in this new broadcasting medium.

The Pace Report, which will be published in January 1999, also examines the public's view on the use of digital television to access public services. 69% of respondents revealed that they would be happy to seek medical advice on the television screen. This means more efficient access to hospitals and doctors surgeries would be possible. Were this service available, those aged between 16 and 35 (79% would use it most. Most resistance to this idea was from respondents aged over 56 years, suggesting less confidence amongst the elderly in this new technology.

Pace chief executive Malcolm Miller said: 'Digital television could become a major factor in the democratic process, making regular referenda and elections easier and cheaper than is possible today. One of the advantages of digital television is that it has the potential to give the public greater access to public services, ranging from voting in national elections to looking up local travel information. Access to these services via digital television is growing in popularity from last year, especially amongst those under 35 years old.

'The ease of being able to carry out these tasks from the home will free up people's valuable time for more pleasurable pursuits, such as exploring the myriad of new channels of films, documentaries, news, arts and sport that are becoming available.'

46% of respondents said they would use digital television to pay their local government taxes, an increase from 12 months ago when 34% of respondents said yes to such a service.

A total of 1,031 consumers, representing a broad cross section of the UK population, were interviewed.

Other key findings from the research reveal that:

41% of people would welcome the opportunity to have more interaction with their local MP through the use of their digital TV.

66% of the British adult public would use digital TV for education and training. This service is especially popular amongst 16-35 year olds (83%).

67% of respondents would use digital television to seek advice on local travel arrangements, a service most popular among 16 to 35 year olds (75%) and 36 to 55 year olds (71%).

Notes

Research findings from the 1999 Pace Report comprise 1,031 telephone interviews conducted between 11th and 16th September 1998. The survey was conducted by the Gallup Organization by telephone using Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) and Random Digit dialling. The sample is representative of the adult population of England, Scotland and Wales (aged 16 or above) withquotas set for regions and weighting used to give the correct proportion of age, gender and socio-economic grouping where possible. The margin of error is + or - 3%.

Executive summaries of The Pace Report and a full description of the survey methodology are available on request from Kinross & Render.

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