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Consumers in Northern Ireland are increasingly adopting broadband connections, according to a new Ofcom report.

The communications regulator has witnessed a six per cent increase in penetration levels over the last year, meaning 70 per cent of the Six Counties' population is now using the web technology.

This places Northern Ireland on a par with England (71 per cent), and some way ahead of Wales (64 per cent) and Scotland (61 per cent).

As recently as 2005, just one-quarter of Northern Irish homes had a broadband connection, Ofcom said.

Wallace Ewart, Chair of the regulator's Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, described the latest finding as "positive" for the country.

Earlier this year, internet service provider BT announced plans to launch fibre-optic broadband services across Northern Ireland.

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