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UK homes and businesses are continuing to gain access to faster download speeds, new research has indicated.

Latest figures from Ofcom reveal that average UK broadband speeds increased from 7.6Mb in November 2011 to 9.0Mb in May 2012.

This 1.4Mb increase in downloading capabilities has been brought about by heavy investment in fibre-optic networks and other next-generation technologies.

BT is continuing to upgrade telephone exchanges across the UK to support super-fast services, and recently announced plans to make fibre-to-the-premises broadband available on-demand.

Virgin Media is also rolling out fibre in earnest, with more than ten million homes able to sign up for the firm's super-fast broadband deals.

Average download speeds have increased from 6.2Mb in November 2010 to 9.0Mb in the latest study, showing the investment in fibre is starting to have the desired effect.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive Officer at Ofcom, said the move to faster broadband services is gathering momentum in the UK.

"Consumers are benefitting from network upgrades and the launch of new super-fast packages, giving them faster speeds and greater choice," he stated.

Mr Richards said the regulator is continuing to work with the advertising code-writing bodies and broadband providers to ensure that speeds advertised reflect actual speeds experienced.

This helps consumers to make informed decisions when shopping around to find the most suitable package, he noted.

The government wants to see every UK community have access to a minimum of 2Mb broadband by 2015.

David Cameron's Con-Lib coalition has also pledged to create Europe's best broadband network within the same timeframe. 

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