Broadband users in the UK spend an average of 50 days a year online, new research has found.
The survey, commissioned by Uswitch, questioned 15,323 broadband users.
Users spent an average of 23 hours a week on the internet, with general surfing the top activity at seven hours 54 minutes. Playing online games accounted for four hours 40 minutes, while email made up three hours 26 minutes of users' time online.
Nine out of 10 people shop online, 39 per cent download music and 40 per cent listen to online radio. Online banking proved popular, with 81 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women happy to conduct their transactions over the internet. Only one in eight users make phone calls over their net connection, however.
Given the number of 'free' broadband services available, two out of five people are overpaying for their connection, Uswitch claimed. Nearly three quarters of consumers haven't changed supplier in the last year and just under half have never switched.
"The uptake of broadband in the past 18 months has been nothing short of explosive," said Chris Williams, broadband product manager at uSwitch.com.
Noting the recent introduction of bundled services from TalkTalk, Orange and Sky, Williams said, "Very soon customers are going to be able to turn round to their provider and say 'Why should I carry on paying for my internet connection?'"
“Now that most households can receive 'Up to 8Mb' services, the digital divide feared by some analysts may be avoided. However, consumers need to vote with their feet to take advantage of these new deals and ensure they are not wasting money on more expensive packages," Williams advised.
"Where free broadband is bundled with either mobile phone or landline packages, those thinking of signing up should consider the cost implications of the attached products and the contract length. Alternatively, for those users who prefer a standalone broadband product, they really shouldn’t have to pay more than £15 a month for a 2Mb connection."
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