ON TOP OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB; the Internet Has Revolutionised Our Lives and the Spread of Superfast Broadband Means Britain Is Leading the Way in Europe's Digital Economy Group Editor's Letter

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), November 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

ON TOP OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB; the Internet Has Revolutionised Our Lives and the Spread of Superfast Broadband Means Britain Is Leading the Way in Europe's Digital Economy Group Editor's Letter


Dear Reader, In my 22 years at Trinity Mirror I've witnessed a lot of changes and so many of them are down to technology.

When I started here we used to publish newspapers.

Now, on top of that, we have websites, mobile apps, videos, social media feeds and much more.

In this modern media landscape, news spreads faster than ever before and breaking stories isn't solely the work of journalists. Everyone with a phone and an internet connection can be a newsgatherer or photographer.

The internet has changed this industry dramatically and no doubt it's probably changed yours too. It's been an astonishing period of time, with some mind-blowing developments and it's still very much in its infancy.

As a nation we've come a huge way in a short time since the internet launched. We've embraced the change more than most and we're showing no sign of stopping.

With broadband speeds and performance improving all the time, our digital future is looking very exciting and full of opportunity.

It is an exciting time to be part of broadband Britain.

From googling to unfriending, DM-ing to swiping left, snaps, selfies, tweets, hashtags and emojis You've probably used at least one of these words already today, but have you ever stopped to think how many people would have understood you just 20 years ago? Back then, spam meant canned meat, a troll was a mythical monster, and 'checking in' meant dropping off your bags at the airport.

HOME CONNECT SUPERFAST EVERY The fact these words roll off our tongues is a sign of just how the internet, fuelled by broadband, has SECONDS revolutionised our lives, transforming everything from banking and shopping to calling a cab, ordering food, relaxing and having fun - even becoming famous.

Perhaps the most radical change has been the way we interact with others. Friendships are now made, rekindled and broken in a world of likes, shares and status updates, with 79% of us admitting we have friends we would never contact without social networking sites.

Romance has also gone online with 33% of couples meeting on the web, and one million babies born to people who met on match.com, one of the first dating sites, which launched in 1995.

And it's all happened in an astonishingly short period of time. In the past 10 years, rates of internet usage among adults in the UK has more than doubled, with nine out of 10 Brits now connected and 78% going online every day, compared with 35% a decade ago.

RISE OF THE SILVER SURFERS The internet revolution has affected young and old alike. 'Silver surfers' are now the fastest growing group of internet users, with over six million British pensioners currently on Facebook. And as download speeds have got faster, we have found new ways to take advantage of them.

A quarter of UK households now subscribe to video on demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV, while the average UK home downloads 82GB of data a month, 40% up on two years ago.

AMBITIOUS ROLL-OUT Most agree it is because of broadband that Britain has both embraced all the internet has to offer, and leapt to the top of the digital economic league.

Superfast fibre-optic broadband of 30 Mbps or more means users can download films in a fraction of the time taken by previous internet connections.

And a combination of private and public investment in superfast broadband means that 90% of UK homes now have access - that's more than Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Meanwhile, a generation is now growing up who have never known anything other than this amazing interconnected internet world, and who'll always take its wonders for granted.

LLOYD EMBLEY Group Editor-in-Chief AVERAGE HOME BROADBAND SPEED PEOPLE AGED 75+ USING THE INTERNET 2011 -19.9% PROPORTION OF PEOPLE WHO OWN A SMARTPHONE 2010 - 26% NOW - 71% A NEW HOME IS ABLE TO CONNECT TO SUPERFAST BROADBAND EVERY 30 SECONDS 1966 American scientist Robert Taylor begins the ARPANET project to link computers, laying the early foundations of the internet @Email is born, as Ray Tomlinson invents a system for sending messages between individual users on a network, using the @ symbol 1972 1991 Tim Berners-Lee launches the world's first website, http://info. …

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