A billion now online

A billion people now are online, 250 million households with broadband, Asia Pacific leads in broadband penetration.

Let's get the billion brains linked up.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than one billion people in the world have access to the Internet, with a quarter of them with broadband, or high-speed connections, according to a survey.

The report by the firm eMarketer said the milestone of one billion was reached in late 2005, and that nearly 250 million households had broadband connections.

The firm estimates that of these people, 845 million use the Internet regularly.

The United States is still number one in terms of numbers of Internet users with 175 million, and broadband households, 43.7 million.

In terms of regions, however, Asia-Pacific has the largest number (315 million) and is the largest broadband center containing nearly 40 percent of the world's broadband households.

Latin America was the fastest growing broadband region worldwide, achieving 70 percent subscriber growth, the survey found. But it had just 70 million people online.

Europe had 233 million people online and 55.2 million broadband households. China had 111 million users and 34.1 million households with fast connections.

The report was based on a number of industry surveys and data from the International Telecommunication Union and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

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