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Kids under 12 are the getting connected to the Net at a rate of knots.

That's according to Nielsen/NetRatings, which also found that the UK has the highest number of kids online of any European nation, with some 4.5 million youngsters accessing the Net, compared to a smidge over three million in Germany and 1.5 million in France.

In all, there are more than 13 million youngsters in Europe online, four million of them under the age of 12.

So, what does this all mean?

According to Tom Ewing of Nielsen/NetRatings, it's down to a combination of things - including the spread of broadband.

"As the Internet matures, the demographic profile of users moves closer to the European population as a whole and what we're seeing now is families using the Internet more," he said.

"It's likely that this is linked with the growth of broadband access – perhaps when they're not paying for access by the minute, parents are likely to let children use and explore the Web more."

If you say so. ®

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