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More internet users are subscribing to fibre-optic broadband services than cable broadband, according to new figures.

Research from analysts Point Topic shows that while 4.2 million people signed up for fibre-optic broadband globally in the first quarter of 2008, the number subscribing to cable broadband was 2.5 million.

While Asia is believed to account for 32 million of the 42 million fibre-optic broadband users internationally, the UK, continental Europe and the US are being left behind by the global trend.

Oliver Johnson, Point Topic's chief executive, commented: "[The growth is] a significant milestone for fibre-optic broadband; where it is available consumers will take fibre over other broadband technologies.

He went on: "DSL is adding more subscribers than fibre in absolute numbers, but not in percentage growth."

Despite the fact that fibre-optic broadband is more expensive to set up than cable, it is expected to surpass both cable and DSL in coming years as the biggest internet access technology.

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