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Internet

Web usage grows across globe

New numbers from Nielsen/NetRatings show an increase in the number of people with Internet access in 21 countries as well as the amount of time and number of sessions spent online.

    Internet usage is increasing worldwide, with more people logging on for greater lengths of time, according to a report released Monday by Nielsen/NetRatings.

    The number of people with Internet access at home grew 16 percent from April 2001 to April 2002, reaching 422.4 million home users in the 21 countries surveyed by the research firm. The number of people actively using the Web from home climbed 18 percent to 241.4 million in the same period, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

    The audience measurement firm added that between April 2001 and April 2002, the time spent online per month rose nearly 13 percent and the number of sessions per month increased nearly 9 percent. Nearly a quarter of the Internet population surfs through a high-speed connection at home, Nielsen/NetRatings reported.

    "The strong increases in time spent online and monthly Internet sessions go a step further to show that surfers are making more time to include the Internet in their daily media diet," Richard Goosey, international chief of measurement science at Net Ratings, said in a statement.

    Nielsen/NetRatings' global Internet usage report was based on 21 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company said its tracking system is not established in other countries.

    Nielsen/NetRatings added that the top global Web properties for April showed Yahoo in the lead spot, followed by MSN, AOL Time Warner, Microsoft and Lycos Network. This ranking has remained unchanged for the past three months.