Nick Harman is mistaken when he claims that US "free callers" are responsible for Internet gridlock

(E-mail, 5 August). An American user who leaves his computer logged on to the Internet even while not using the Internet is not clogging up the Internet itself (though it may be argued that such actions are creating real problems for US telephone companies and Internet service providers). No data is transferred across the Internet unless the user is actually doing something.

Of more concern is the high price of Internet access in the UK, which is mainly owing to the high cost of local calls. Cheap access in the US has led to phenomenal growth in Internet use; similar growth could be a real economic boon to the UK, as individuals and small companies discover new ways to sell their products and services across the world. As a British author living in the US, it saddens me to see the opportunity that the UK is missing. The Internet opens eyes and extends horizons, but the high cost of access means that UK users make occasional short visits, rather than taking the time really to discover the many benefits of the Internet.