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The number of fixed-line broadband connections around the world continued to rise during the first quarter of 2014.

According to analyst firm Point Topic, there were 690.1 million subscribers, up 1.9 per cent on the previous quarter.

This represented acceleration in the growth rate, which was 0.4 per cent in the final three months of 2013.

For the first time, the number of broadband lines with end-to-end copper connections accounted for less than 50 per cent of the market.

This highlights the continued evolution of broadband technology, as more operators upgrade to fibre infrastructure and other next-generation alternatives.

Point Topic explained that the African market grew faster than any other region, with growth of just over five per cent in 2014.

"Strong growth is predicted for the coming quarters although doubts remain about the affordability of fixed broadband services and the reach of infrastructure in the region," the analyst stated.

"Growth in other regions in the quarter was solid if unspectacular."

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