• internet access estimates have been published annually since 2006

  • until 2010 the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) covered the UK, but from 2011 the coverage was reduced to Great Britain

  • the internet access data is collected in the January, February and March OPN surveys

Internet access estimates are calculated from data collected in certain modules of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) in Great Britain.

The OPN is a multi-purpose household survey designed to be a fast, cost-effective and reliable way of collecting information on a variety of topics that are too small to have surveys of their own.

The internet access module collects data on households’ access to, and use of, the internet and other information communication technologies (ICTs). Different questions are added each year in order to obtain new and relevant information, for example on e-skills or e-commerce.

Eurostat is the principal user of the statistics. The estimates are consistent with other EU member states and are used to measure progress, as part of EU benchmarking indicators. These EU indicators compare the development and use of ICTs and help provide a better understanding of the adoption of ICTs and the internet throughout the EU.

There is wide interest in internet access statistics from researchers, public bodies, charities and academics in the UK. Recently there has been particular interest in statistics about adults who don’t use the internet, as part of the debate about social and digital exclusion. Due to the need for more frequent estimates of internet users and non-users, a new publication, the Internet Access Quarterly Update, was developed.

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