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News Release

No Growth in Social Media Use Over Last Two Years According to Oxford University Internet Survey
Released: 1st October 2013
Publisher: RealWire

Professor William Dutton, Keynote Speaker at the upcoming NextGen13 Conference to be held at Wembley next month, has today released the results of an Oxford University report on Internet use in the UK. The report by the Oxford Internet Institute finds five percent more Brits are using the net but shows that the seemingly relentless growth in social media use has stalled. 

According to the detailed survey, which will be presented in full at the NextGen13 conference, 78 percent of the UK population are now online –  an increase on the 73 percent in 2011. Despite this, use of social media has held steady at about 60 percent over the same period.

"I think we can expect to see over 80 percent of the population in Britain using the Internet  in the coming years," said Professor Dutton, the survey leader and NextGen13 Keynote speaker. "Internet diffusion in the UK is now more in line with a number of other countries where you would expect to see similar levels of use. Mobile and tablet devices seem to have boosted accessibility and we have noticed a real increase in lower income groups and those aged 45 and over who are now going online."

On social media, Professor Dutton noted that a small proportion of the population are heavy users of services like Facebook and Twitter but said there had been a definite freeze in their overall use.

"Our survey supports previous evidence that the Internet is a very important tool for economic development," added Professor Dutton. However, the report which examines British Internet use and attitudes suggests that more than half of users are not enthusiastic about the Internet: "We also looked at the cultures of the Internet and identified five clusters of users with similar attitudes and beliefs. Worryingly, more than half take Internet use for granted, or see it as a waste of time, and we are not seeing people in Britain using it as creatively as users in other countries, such as Brazil and China."

 “The rise in UK Internet usage reported by Professor Dutton is impressive,” says Robert Bell, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum and fellow NextGen13 speaker.  “Internet penetration will never be 100 percent because it varies with age, income and education level.  Social media usage also varies with culture: in the US, Internet usage in the state of Louisiana is lower than the state of Minnesota, but Louisiana residents use social media more than their Minnesota peers. Usage will also vary from nation to nation.”  The Intelligent Community Forum is a non-profit organization based in New York City. For 15 years the Intelligent Community Forum has enabled global communities to embrace the economic and social opportunities presented by broadband. Bell will lead a keynote conversation on the opening day of NextGen 13.

NextGen 13, the UK’s leading two-day event for next generation digital access, will encourage different thinking across the Information Economy, embracing progress in all network ‘access’ technologies throughout the UK, and will discuss plans for services to stimulate economic regeneration.

Wembley is known for its next generation telecoms services, where every home and building is pre-wired with the Velocity1 (subsidiary of Magnet Networks) digital network system, providing businesses and residents with one of the fastest broadband services in the UK, as well as unparalleled access to IP services.

Off-site tours of these cutting edge Wembley facilities will be arranged for visitors of NextGen 13 to demonstrate how self-sustaining, futuristic services have influenced the commercial opportunities available to an area, which has already embraced digital infrastructure investment.

The event, organised by NG Events Ltd at the brand new Hilton at Wembley, will include a conference, exhibition and trade show. This year’s agenda will have an emphasis on FTTH in new and existing developments, the services it will enable and what it will mean to various business sectors in the UK. The event is endorsed by the FTTH Council Europe. Other themes to be addressed will include open data, innovation and intelligent communities.

Further Information

Samantha Sharp
Service Delivery Executive
Tel: +44 (0)1522 883640

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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
T: +44 (0)190 888 0760 | F: +44 (0)190 888 0761