The UK Is The Western World’s Pre-Eminent Internet-Based Economy.

How far would you go to keep your broadband?

Would you be prepared to sacrifice one of life’s other luxuries to keep that internet connection? Well, apparently users in the UK are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to stay online. According to a report published on the BBC by the Boston Consulting Group, some people will go to extreme lengths to stay connected. Researchers discovered that 65% of the people questioned would be prepared to sacrifice alcohol, 76% would give up chocolate and 78% would willingly forego coffee.

If that seems extreme, the consider this: 25% of the people questioned would be prepared to give up sex to retain their broadband connection. There’s often been a criticism that the Brits are a nation of obsessives, and this study would appear to add some credence to that accusation. However, there is a reason why the Brits behave in the way they do: they’re addicted to their computers to the same extent that they might be addicted to cigarettes and alcohol.

Individuals and businesses are simply in love with the web.

However, as BCG points out, there’s actually a very good reason for this. The UK has the most internet-based economy of any western democracy.

The BCG report points out that the internet contributes 8.3% to the total UK economy: to put that in perspective, that’s a bigger share than for any of the other G20 major countries. The “internet economy” was worth in total £121billion in 2010, which equates to more than £2,000 per person, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The total makes the internet economy bigger than the construction, education and healthcare sectors.  Interestingly, the UK is also the predominant force when it comes to e-commerce, and carries out more retail online than any other major economy. It even surpasses the U.S.A.  During 2010, 13.5 percent of all purchases were completed over the internet. According to BCG, this figure is projected to rise to a staggering 23% by 2016.

The research clearly shows that the overall UK web economy is growing exponentially.

BCG predicts that it will continue to expand at a rate of 11 percent per year for the next four years, reaching a total value to the UK overall economy of £221 billion by 2016. By comparison the projected growth rate for the U.S. is 5.4%, and China, in spite of its dominance as one of the world’s major economies, is still only forecast to grow by 6.9%. All of which should come as welcome news for the UK’s small and medium sized businesses. The research suggests that their revenues have been growing at a rate of 12.5 percent each year for the last 3 years, and that this rate of growth will continue.

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