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Oxford has been named as the fifth-fastest city in the world in terms of average broadband speeds.

The university city has sprung something of a surprise by gatecrashing a poll dominated by Japanese and North American locations.

According to the study, conducted by web traffic management firm Akamai Technologies, the average download speed available to Oxford residents and businesses is currently 14.5Mb.

Global urban areas with more than 50,000 unique IP addresses were considered in the poll, with 62 of the top 100 being located in Japan, and a further 23 situated in North America.

The only other UK cities to feature in the chart were Southampton (57th), Bristol (58th) and Cambridge (73rd), highlighting the extent of the challenge faced by broadband providers and the government in making the UK a global digital leader.

Earlier this year, Akamai reported that Britain has the 26th fastest broadband network in the world, with the average consumer package offering 3.4Mb download speeds.

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