Internet access at home has doubled in the last 12 months in the UK, and is now growing twice as fast as in the US, according to a survey released last week.

Almost a quarter of people in the UK have access to the Web at home, with most people using it primarily to send and receive email.

The survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers also confirms that time spent online is rising, with UK users spending an average of 2.5 hours a week surfing the Net compared with 2.2 hours last year. This amount is still well below the US, where users spend on average 5.3 hours a week online.

When asked what stopped them spending more time on the Net, UK users said that cost was the most important factor. For US users faster and more reliable access was most often cited.

The survey took a sample of over 3,000 people from across Europe and the US and is available from PricewaterhouseCoopers at