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The UK will have more than one million super-fast broadband lines by year end, according to a new report.

Analyst firm Point Topic has claimed British consumers are gaining an appetite for fibre broadband services, which currently offer download speeds of up to 100Mb.

Overall, the UK broadband market delivered its best Q3 since 2008, with 289,000 net additions, the report said.

During the second quarter of the year, 240,100 new lines were added, bringing the total to 20.4 million at the end of September 2011.

This is up 6.4 per cent on 19.2 million a year ago, and many of the new additions have been fibre broadband lines.

"There’s good evidence that a growing demand for speed and a more reliable service is helping to drive the growth," said Annelise Berendt, Senior Analyst at Point Topic.

"At the current rate the UK will have well over a million superfast broadband lines by the end of this year. This will mean that over five per cent of British broadband users will be on super-fast speeds."

She noted that Virgin Media - whose network passes a third of UK homes - appears to be getting the most benefit from fibre broadband at present.

Ms Berendt said the appeal of super-fast services seems to have played "a major part" in turning a fall of 13,000 broadband customers in Q2 into a gain of 24,000 in Q3.

The cable operator said 54 per cent of its new subscribers in Q3 took super-fast broadband at 30Mb or more. Point Topic estimates that, allowing for churn, this means at least 50,000 new customers paying extra for premium speeds.

Evidence from BT tells a similar story, Ms Berendt added, with fibre broadband bringing in an estimated 30,000 new customers for the firm in Q3.

“Of course, it is not a simple matter of super-fast bringing in non-user households. Although new to BT or Virgin Media, most of these customers will have had broadband before," she stated.

"But it provides a measure of the increasing attractiveness of broadband as a service in the face of hard economic times." 

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