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The number of people in Northern Ireland (NI) with a broadband connection increased significantly last year.

According to new research from Ofcom, broadband customers were up 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier.

Sixty-four per cent of NI homes now have a broadband connection, which is higher than the uptake in Scotland and Wales, but slightly lower than in England (70 per cent).

Over 70 per cent of broadband households were connected to an unbundled exchange, while four per cent had dial up internet.

The Ofcom report also revealed that one in 12 homes in NI use VoIP to make phone calls.

In terms of overall broadband take up, it was found to be lowest in small towns with an average of 51 per cent, while it was highest in urban and rural areas in the east.

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