Internet access worldwide is growing rapidly, according to internet measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings.
Nearly half a billion people around the world had access to the internet from their homes last year, and more than 498 million people could surf the web from home by the end of 2001.
This represents an average jump of 5.1 per cent in the last quarter, with Asian users being hooked up fastest. Home web access grew 5.6 per cent in the last three months of the year.
European connections were up 4.9 per cent, followed by Latin America with 3.3 per cent, while the United States showed a rise of 3.5 per cent.
The largest share of the global internet audience is North America with more than 40 per cent.
Europe, Middle East and Africa share 27 per cent and Asia 22 per cent.
Singapore, where some 60 per cent of households in the island-state of four million people could log on to the Net, had the highest internet access rate in Asia.
India comes in last, with only seven per cent of households enjoying internet access.
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