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Millions of Brits are still missing out on the many benefits of the internet, it has been claimed.

Kristine Olson, Director of Sales and Loyalty at TalkTalk, said up to 8.7 million people in the UK are yet to get connected, and this is costing them money each year.

She cited the findings of a Boston Consulting Group report, which found that families save an average of £3,000 every year by carrying out everyday tasks online.

Ms Olson said this is through a combination of costs saved using online tools like instant messaging to researching the web to find the best deals.

"Britain's internet economy is bigger than healthcare, construction or education, and is set to almost double in the next four years," she added.

And many households - those which have been willing to embrace the digital age - are recognising this, she suggested.

"Brits said they would demand £2,175 to give up the internet for a year, and would rather give up coffee, alcohol or chocolate," she noted.

"Some 17 per cent of people would rather give up showering for a year than going online."

But persuading the reluctant others to sign up for a broadband deal and get online remains a challenge - even as the benefits of online services become clearer.

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