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Britain has come second in a recently-released table of broadband subscriber numbers published by The Broadband Forum.

According to the figures, there are 16,718,400 broadband contract holders in the UK - over five million behind the leading country Germany, which leads the table with 21,773,750.

Europe was also found to be the leading continent for broadband user numbers, with 32 per cent of all subscribers based on the continent - that is 120 million users out of a worldwide total of 380 million internet users with a broadband connection.

The UK is fifth in the world table, behind Germany, Japan, China and the league leader - the US, where no less than 77 million people enjoy the benefits of broadband.

Commenting on the figures, George Dobrowski, chairman and president of the Broadband Forum, pointed to the increased use of Wi-Fi and 3G technologies as signs that the industry was utilising its network efficiently.

"This report demonstrates how the broadband industry is visibly evolving, reacting to a number of variables from economic and environmental factors driving better existing network utilisation," he said.

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