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Some four million Brits will be connected with fibre-optic broadband by the year 2013, according to the results of newly-conducted research.

Point Topic's estimation casts doubt over BT's plans to have ten million homes connected to its planned next-generation broadband network by the year 2010.

The study predicts that overall there will be 22 million broadband connections in the UK in five years time.

Referring to the proposed time scale of BT's high-speed broadband project, chief analyst at Point Topic, Tim Johnson, suggested that a 2010 projection could be ambitious.

He commented: "It'll probably take a bit longer than that but there are a lot of other players coming into the market too. So we estimate there will be over 4.4 million fibre lines by the end of 2013."

BT is ready to plough £1.5 billion pounds into the next-generation broadband project, which will equip homes and businesses with connection speeds of up to 100Mb.

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