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There are now nearly 17 million broadband connections in the UK, recently-released figures from Ofcom show.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, 322,000 new lines were added, taking the grand total up to 16.9 million by the end of September last year.

The new statistics were found in telecommunications market data tables published by the communications watchdog.

Another feature of the new data is the rise of local loop unbundling lines (LLU) which saw a seven per cent rise over the recorded three-month period.

LLU lines have now topped the 5.6 million mark and seem to be an increasingly more common form of ADSL broadband.

It was found that BT-based providers who are offering ADSL broadband not using LLU actually lost some 132,000 lines.

BT is said to have been impacted by the popularity of LLU, which allows broadband providers to offer their own line rental from local exchanges - the telecoms giant saw its share of the market drop by 0.1 per cent.

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