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Preliminary results for the third World Wide Web survey indicate an older, richer population with no more intention of buying access to the Web than in the previous survey six months ago. The survey was conducted by the Graphics, Visualisation and Usability Centre at Georgia Institute of Technology – the Georgia Tech where the rambling wreck came from – which polled more than 13,000 people for personal details and their own forecasts for the Internet. It solicited users of the Prodigy Services Co commercial on-line service as well as straight Internet users. Overall, the average age of respondents had jumped four years with a corresponding increase in affluence. But there was no change in the proportion of users who were willing to pay for Internet access. Nearly a quarter, 23%, stated they would not pay fees to access material from Web sites. US users were slightly more concerned about cost and quality than Europeans. The organisers of the survey said this represented little change over the past six months and respondents were very concerned about security of conducting financial transactions on-line and a majority of respondents consider it foolish to provide credit information on-line. The presence of well-known third parties, such as Microsoft Corp, was not sufficient to reassure people, the survey said. They would only consider reliable financial institutions, if transactions were to make an impact on the Internet. There was a 6% increase in the number of women answering and an 8% decrease in the number of men, the discrepancy made up with the newly added ‘rather not say’ category.

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CBR Staff Writer

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