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The number of UK internet users increased during the final three months of 2011, it has been reported.

Latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that 41.99 million adults had used the web by the end of December.

This represented 83.5 per cent of the adult population, up from 82 per cent at the end of the third quarter of the year.

The figures suggest that the benefits of broadband services are becoming more widely appreciated and understood.

Just 8.2 million adult have never used a broadband connection, down from 8.43 million at the end of Q3 2011.

Slightly more men than women have gone online - 86.1 per cent of males compared to 81 per cent of females, while young people are most likely to have used the internet.

The ONS said some 98.7 per cent of people aged in the 16-24 age category have used the web.

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