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The UK is still lagging behind the world's premier countries when it comes to broadband penetration according to a new report.

Research from industry analyst Gartner has revealed that Britain ranks seventh in the world with broadband penetration in around 58 per cent of households.

This still leaves the UK behind five countries in which over 60 per cent of homes enjoy broadband services, including South Korea, Holland, Canada, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner, commented: "Depending on the specific market conditions, availability of internet-enabled devices and the continued impact of broadband on consumer lifestyles, we expect some markets will have a broadband ceiling at 80 per cent penetration or greater."

She went on: "Consumers in heavily penetrated markets are already addicted to broadband, thus the future in these markets is less concerned with increasing subscriber numbers, and more with addressing what new applications and/or content will be transmitted over this pipe."

It is predicted that the number of consumer broadband connections will rise from 323 million connections a year ago to 499 million by 2012.

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