Internet 'crucial' to family life

67 percent would rather reduce food bills than Internet access

Brits would rather cut back on food than Internet access, says O2.

According to research by the ISP and mobile network operator, 67 percent of families are reluctant to reduce their spending on Internet access when it comes to beating the credit crunch, while only 24 percent said they didn't want to reduce their food spending.

O2 also revealed that 40 percent of families admit to spend 10 percent of their household budget on technology and 57 percent said they still intend to purchase gadgets, despite the credit crunch, as long as they are value for money.

Over half of the families surveyed as part of the Digital Families report, said technology such as email and mobile phones had made it easier to communicate with other family members, with 19 percent using social networking to stay in touch and 79 percent saying mobile phones help them communicate. A third of families surveyed also revealed that email and the Internet on the move made it easier to balance work and family responsibilities.

"This report reveals just how pervasive technology now is within UK homes," said Alistair Johnston, Marketing Director, Telefnica O2 UK.

"At O2 we strongly believe that technology has a hugely positive role to play in helping families better manage their hectic lives, but also ultimately in being able to spend more time together."

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See also: Kids' Net access gets close scrutiny from Symantec

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