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Demand for new broadband services remained strong in the UK during the first half of 2009, a new study has suggested.

According to Point Topic, there was a net increase of 445,000 in the number of UK broadband subscriptions over the six month period, bringing the total number of installed lines to 17.8 million.

The technology analyst noted that this figure is approximately 100,000 ahead of its own forecasts for the year and added that has increased its predictions for new broadband connections through to 2014 as a result.

Following the first half results, Point Topic is now estimating that there will be 900,000 new broadband lines in the UK this year, 240,000 more than it had previously suggested.

However, it also highlighted the large task ahead of the government if it is to bring broadband to the remaining nine million unconnected households, particularly as it has only set aside £12 million to boost digital participation.

Tim Johnson, chief analyst at Point Topic, said: "Allowing only £12 million to get more homes online looks pretty weak when you consider the size of the task on one side and the potential benefits on the other."

Meanwhile, BT has revealed plans that could encourage more people to make use of wireless broadband. The internet service provider intends to double the number of Wi-Fi hotspots it offers.

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