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Almost seven out of ten UK premises now have a fixed broadband connection, a new report from Ofcom has revealed.

Research conducted by the communications regulator indicates that 68 per cent of homes and businesses have taken out a broadband subscription in the UK.

Across the nation, the average maximum speed is 7.5Mb, excluding super-fast broadband connections such as those provided by Virgin Media in limited parts of the UK.

The highest adoption rates were found in Brighton & Hove, where 80 per cent of premises now have a fixed broadband line.

And consumers in Edinburgh currently enjoy the fastest ADSL broadband speeds, with subscribers able to download at a rate of 10.1Mb.

The fastest average download speeds in England were found to be in Bristol, where web users can take advantage of 9.9Mb connections.

Edinburgh and Bristol were also identified as the UK cities with the lowest percentage of people receiving less than 2Mb – the government minimum speed under its universal service commitment.

The coalition has committed to deliver nationwide 2Mb broadband by 2015, and equip 90 per cent of the population with 25Mb speeds by 2017.

And with Virgin Media and BT, among others, rolling out fibre broadband services across the UK, the number of homes and businesses able to sign up for a super-fast broadband deal is quickly rising.

Ofcom found that 58 per cent of UK addresses are now served by a fibre-enabled telephone exchange or network.

The towns with the highest percentage of addresses served by a super-fast broadband enabled exchange – 100 per cent – were Luton in Bedfordshire and Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland.

Across Northern Ireland, 97 per cent of all households and businesses are able to take advantage of super-fast broadband – which is defined as being capable of downloads greater than 24Mb.

This follows the completion of major investment in the nation's telecoms infrastructure by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland, in conjunction with BT.

Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards commented: "We are now developing a clear picture of the UK's fixed broadband infrastructure and how it delivers for consumers.

"We hope that this information will stimulate further rollout of broadband infrastructure and better performance for households and businesses."

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