Mobile internet use in the UK continued to soar in 2011, with nearly half of internet users logging on in the past year via their smartphones, but a quarter of households remain without a connection as the digital divide shows no signs of closing, according to the latest government statistics.
The annual research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) put the number of internet users accessing web sites via their phones at 45 per cent, up from 31 per cent last year and 23 per cent in 2009.
The growth of public Wi-Fi hotspots appears to be helping to drive this trend, seeing a near doubling in use from seven to 13 per cent.
However, the digital divide between the old and young showed no sign of abating. Some 71 per cent of 16 to 24 year-old internet users accessed the mobile internet, but just eight per cent of users aged 65+ did so.
The number of households with internet access increased by just four per cent from 73 to 77 per cent, leaving nearly a quarter of homes without an internet connection.