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The spread of broadband connections in the US has helped the internet become consumers' primary resource for research, it has been claimed.

New data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 58 per cent of those polled use the web to research everything from health issues to financial and career advice.

This means that more people are inclined to consult the web for information on important personal matters than they would be to turn to a doctor, lawyer or financial expert, which were revealed as the second most popular way of gleaning info with 45 per cent.

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said that the trend has in part been spurred by broadband connections which mean that surfers can access the information they need more quickly and easily than before.

He explained: "The ascendance of the Internet has a demand-side dimension and a supply-side dimension. On the demand side, we clearly see that the spread of broadband has made the Internet an easy place for people to do research when they face problems."

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