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Almost 300 million people around the world access the Net from home, according to the latest figures from ACNielsen eRatings.com.

The US now accounts for some 137 million users - less than half of the global total - but almost double the combined domestic Net user population in Europe.

David Day, director of analytics at ACNielsen eRatings.com, said: "The US and Japan are widely recognised as having the largest Internet populations in the world,"

But according to the figures, this could soon change.

"...we see a European penetration figure of 82 million people which equates to one household in five, with more than half - 56 per cent - of those people residing in the UK, Germany and Italy.

"Those three countries are well worth watching in the coming months as they continue to emerge on the global scene," he said.

Last week, a bunch of US boffins confirmed that America's cultural dominance of the Net was beginning to fade. ®

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