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BT's plans for a super-fast fibre-optic broadband network to be implemented across the UK have been downplayed by one IT research group.

In a letter to the Financial Times, TNS Technology highlighted that even with the roll-out of the £1.5 billion network, the UK would still be inferior to nations in the top tier of broadband provision, reports Contractor UK.

The firm says that by the year 2012 - when BT is scheduled to have completed the project - the broadband infrastructure in France, Japan and South Korea will have seen more investment than that in Britain.

According to TNS: "BT's proposition does have the potential to improve our internet TV services significantly, but the UK will remain a second-tier country when it comes to internet speeds."

The Asia-Pacific region has one of the fastest growing populations of broadband subscribers - it is estimated there will be 171 million signed up by the end of the year, up from 129.7 million at the end of 2007, research from Frost and Sullivan indicates.

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