According to a new report, the UK's internet businesses are worth £100 billion, which is more than 7 per cent of the national income.
The study says if the internet businesses were an industry in its own right it would be more than double the size of the UK hotel and restaurant market and about as big as the financial services sector which accounted for 9% of GDP in 2009.
The findings by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), US form part of a report for Google, the internet's most successful company.
According to Paul Zwillenberg, BCG partner, and one of the report's authors, the internet was giving UK companies access to international markets and allowing them to generate "astounding" growth.
But the study also points to a digital divide in the UK, with certain parts of the country, including Scotland and Northern Ireland – lagging much behind London and the south-east.
The report reveals that the consumer's willingness to shop online was driving the expansion of the internet. Zwillenberg said, a lot of it was driven by e-commerce.