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The latest monthly update to the survey of Internet Service Providers ...
The latest monthly update to the survey of Internet Service Providers

(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

747.9 respectively.

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

their share.

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.

Access Plans

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 '

access plans.


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.

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