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The number of global fixed broadband subscriptions is set to burst through the 500 million barrier during 2010, it has been reported.

Research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media indicates that strong market growth in China, Russia and Mexico in particular will see coverage of the technology increase over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the report, Shane Wright, IT Director for eDigitalResearch, said high-speed broadband is becoming increasingly integral to high-value service economies.

"It is crucial, but not just because of the speed," he stated.

"Being able to rely on an always-on connection allows drastically different behaviours among people and organisations - including in ways that are difficult to anticipate."

Early examples of this are the advent of remote support contracts, Software-as-a-Service and changes in work patterns, Mr Wright said.

According to Akamai, South Korean internet service providers currently offer the fastest broadband in the world, with download speeds of 100Mb-plus available to many businesses and consumers.

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