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Virgin Media has released the results of research carried out into just how much the British actually understand the Internet, and those results show that on the whole the nation is pretty much baffled by broadband. The study, which quizzed more than 3000 internet users, discovered that broadband jargon confuses many and the rest are just as puzzled by security issues and Internet speeds.

Of course, and can call me cynical if you like, but the fact that this research has been published alongside an announcement that Virgin Media is to start opening a number of broadband schools, initially targeting those cities which showed least Internet knowledge in the survey, does undermine the credibility of it all a tad.

Sure, we have Virgin boss and well known British billionaire Richard Branson admitting that "I've never been terribly technical and I'm not at all ashamed to say that I'm probably a prime candidate for a Broadband School" but this is quickly followed by a media friendly marketing comment of "At Virgin Media we want everyone to feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how silly they think they are, so that they can get the most out of their internet service and enjoy everything the internet has to offer."

Still, with the Brits getting super fast broadband trials we thought it was interesting enough to report the results anyway. Especially as towards the end of last year, another survey also seemed to suggest that the British were baffled by broadband.

  • 53 percent thought you need a phone line to get broadband
  • 51 per cent do not know how fast their internet package is
  • 40 per cent did not know what ADSL was
  • 40 per cent of web users do not know what an Internet browser is
  • 30 per cent do not know how to tell if a website is secure
  • 18 per cent were not aware what broadband actually is
  • 14 per cent think that tangled cables can slow Internet speed
  • 13 percent don't know what a blog is
  • 12 percent don't know what a mailbox is
  • 7 per cent believed 'Blu-ray' was a type of broadband

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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