52% had Internet access in first quarter of 2006

LONDON — Domestic broadband connections in the European Union’s 25 states jumped 9% in the first three months of the year, a EU report revealed Friday.

According to EU statistics office Eurostat, 52% of households had Internet access while 32% of households had a broadband connection during the first quarter of 2006.

The Netherlands led the way with 80% of households connected. At the other end of the spectrum, just 23% of Greek homes were connected.

Holland  topped the broadband access chart with 66% of homes enjoying the faster connection, followed by Denmark (63%), Finland (53%) and Sweden (51%).

In Greece, just 4% of homes had broadband, followed by Slovakia (11%), Cyprus (12%) and Ireland (13%).

The report estimated that 47% of the EU’s 462 million population used the Internet at least once a week.

The highest proportions of individuals regularly using the Internet were recorded in Sweden (80%), Denmark (78%), the Netherlands (76%) and Finland (71%).

The report revealed that 51% of men used the Internet regularly as compared to 43% of women.

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