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Levels of broadband penetration across the world are continuing to increase, new research from Gartner has revealed.

The study found that one in five homes worldwide – which equates to 422 million households - will have broadband connections by the end of 2009.

It is also predicted that this figure will grow further in the next four years, with nearly 580 million households expected to have a fixed broadband connection by 2013.

Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner, said a number of issues are motivating people to turn to broadband, including affordable PCs and subscriptions, as well as migration from dial-up connections.

She added: "Consumers may be watching their household expenditure, but dropping their broadband connections is not on the top of their agendas as a way to reduce outgoings."

It was recently revealed that broadband access in rural Scotland could be boosted by BT in the near future, as the company looks to improve web access across the country.

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