(ISPs) shows that between April 2001 and April 2002 there was a 16.1
per cent increase in the number of subscriptions to the internet. The
month on month change between March and April 2002 was 0.8 per cent.
Numbers of subscriptions to the internet have risen since the
introduction of the survey with the exception of the second quarter
of 2001 when numbers fell in each month. At 4.4 per cent, December
2001 to January 2002 continues to display the largest month on month
rise. The growth during the first quarter of 2002 has been revised
downwards due to updated company information. Subscriptions are
defined as those that were active during the month in question.
Dial-up versus permanent Internet connections
In April 2002,subscriptions for dial-up and permanent internet
connections continued to display quite different patterns of growth.
The indices for dial-up and permanent subscriptions were 114.9 and
The year on year growth to April 2002 was 12.0 per cent for dial-up
connections, with an increase of 0.1 per cent from March to April
2002. The year on year growth was 427.8 per cent for permanent
connections, with an increase of 16.3 per cent from March to April
2002.Dial-up connections continued to dominate the overall number of
subscriptions, but with permanent connections continuing to increase
Permanent connections made up 4.6 per cent of total subscriptions in
April 2002, up from 4.0 per cent in March. Revisions to the permanent
index have occurred due to additions to the panel of ISPs.
In April 2002, the percentage of subscriptions using free access
continued to fall (33 per cent in March to 31 per cent).Those paying
a fixed rate for unmetered access increased to 35 per cent whilst 19
per cent of subscriptions continued to use billed access for call
minutes. A further 10 per cent continued to be made up by 'Other '
1.E-commerce could have a huge impact on the way businesses operate.
It has the potential to lead to growth in trade, increase
markets, improve efficiency and effectiveness and transform business
processes. In recognition of its significance in the future
performance of the economy, the UK government has set itself the
target of becoming 'the best environment in the world to do
e-commerce.' DTI 1998 White Paper 'Our Competitive Future: Building
the Knowledge-Driven Economy ' CM4176. In response, ONS has developed
a package of measures that will help monitor the UK's use of
2.One strand of the strategy is the Monthly Inquiry to internet
Service Providers (ISPs). This inquiry, established in January 2001,
surveys a panel of ISPs, collecting data on the number of active
subscriptions, type of connections to the Internet and access plan
used. Publication of the index commenced in December 2001, in respect
of October 2001.
3.The index of connectivity is constructed forinternet
subscriptions, with January 2001 being used as the base month. The
index expresses the current month as a percentage of the base month.
Response to the survey each month is consistently reaching over 75
per cent in terms of ISPs responding ,and over 95 per cent in terms
of known subscriptions. Estimates are made for non-responding
businesses. The index is not seasonally adjusted.
4.In some tables entries have been suppressed to avoid disclosure of
figures in which the returns of individual businesses could be
identified. On the tables where disclosure occurs footnotes have been
5.The Internet Service Providers Inquiry is carried out in line with
the rigorous standards of all National Statistics.However, it is
important to note that there is currently no definitive population of
ISPs from which to sample, and therefore the index should be treated
with some caution as it is still in development phase.
6.The entire index is reviewed each month to ensure that ONS
publishes its best estimates. Revisions can occur due to company
misreporting or additions to the panel of ISPs.