Although skeptics among us continue to assert that the Internet, and the concomitant promises of a global information superhighway and electronic marketplace, is of overstated significance and at best a technological achievement far from fruition, the reality of the matter is that the Internet is being used to exchange information and goods, and the users are not just Americans. As of October 1997, one in twenty-five British homes were connected to the Internet. Furthermore, in just 12 months, ending in June 1997, 6 million British adults had used the Internet and that group was projected to have increased to 9 million in 1998. A survey of Internet use in Great Britain also found that of those who had used the Internet, 96% said they would use the Internet again in the future. The survey also reported, perhaps surprisingly for the Internet skeptic, that use of the Internet for educational purposes was the fastest growing area of use, with 49% of British users in 1997 using the Internet for that purpose, compared with 39% in 1996. Currently, just 7% of British firms are doing business on the Internet, but 82% of British companies said that they expected to use the Internet as a business tool, particularly for advertising and trading, in the next five years.
James B. McNamara, Legal Issues on the Internet: An Analysis and Comparison of Law and Policy Relating to the Use and Regulation of the Internet in Great Britain and Australia, 17 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 159 (1998).