updated 3/30/2006 4:37:30 PM ET 2006-03-30T21:37:30

Because of its high prevalence of broadband access, South Korea is often considered the world's "most-wired" nation. But a new study of international Internet usage offered evidence that people in other countries are even more connected.

When pollsters for Ipsos Insight recently asked 6,500 people in 12 countries whether they had used the Internet in the past month, 68 percent of South Koreans said yes. That ranked No. 4, behind Japan (89 percent), Canada (72 percent) and the United States (71 percent).

(For those who track Asia's fastest-rising economies, China had a rate of 50 percent, while India showed just 15 percent — though Ipsos researchers only queried people in urban areas in those countries.)

South Korea also didn't own the top slot in time spent online.

The survey found that Korean Internet users, on average, were online for 12.7 hours each week, behind those in China (17.9 hours a week) and Japan (13.9). Canadian Web surfers clocked 12.3 hours each week and Americans were fifth at 11.4, followed by Mexicans at 9.2.

The Ipsos report came a day after the World Economic Forum ranked the United States tops in its "networked readiness index," which measures everything from math and science education to the diffusion of various technologies. Singapore was second, followed by Denmark and Iceland.

Korea? No. 14.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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