More than 61 per cent of UK homes now have the internet, with 51 per cent using a broadband connection. That's up 7 per cent on last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some 15.23 million households now have internet access - the South East of England has the biggest penetration at 69 per cent. Northern Ireland is lowest at 52 per cent.

The biggest increase in broadband take-up was in Wales, where 49 per cent of homes now have it, compared to 32 per cent last year.

It's thought the push for digital TV is partly behind the sharp rise. As some areas approach digital switchover during the next year, people are switching to combined TV, phone and broadband packages.