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The number of European households and businesses accessing high-speed broadband has increased significantly over the last 12 months.

This is the principle finding of a new European Commission (EC) report into broadband coverage, which found that 29 per cent of lines can now support 10Mb download speeds.

Last year, just 15 per cent of broadband subscribers were able to enjoy such download capabilities.

At present, five per cent of consumers are receiving 50Mb broadband deals, while an adventurous 0.5 per cent are already signed up to 100Mb web services.

This latter figure could be set to increase over the coming months, with UK internet service provider Virgin Media set to launch a 100Mb fibre-optic broadband service.

Under the terms of the EU's Digital Agenda, 30Mb broadband services are desirable across all member states by 2020.

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