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There will be 745 million households with fixed-line broadband worldwide by 2017, it has been predicted.

A new report from Digital TV Research estimates this figure will rise from the 473 million recorded in 2010 and the 578 million expected by the end of this year.

Of the 167 million likely additions between 2012 and 2017, the firm estimates China will supply 73 million and India 22 million.

China will remain the top nation by number of fixed broadband households in 2017, with 251 million homes – more than double the predicted 101 million in the US.

Simon Murray, author of the report, commented: “Perhaps just as interesting as the overall increase in fixed broadband household numbers is the shift of homes subscribing to faster download speeds.

"Many governments have initiated national broadband network projects, which involve extensive capital expenditure to build out modern networks."

He said that in other countries, greater competition has encouraged operators to construct fibre networks from their own initiatives.

Digital TV Research claimed that three-quarters of fixed broadband households received download speeds of less than 10Mb in 2010, with only 2.3 per cent above 30Mb.

By the end of 2012, the under 10Mb proportion is expected to fall to 58 per cent, and this is set to fall to 31 per cent by 2017.

At the same time, the greater than 30Mb proportion will reach 7.2 per cent by end-2012, and account for more than a quarter of the total within five years.

By 2017, the firm believes around ten per cent of fixed broadband households will receive speeds in excess of 100Mb, up from just 1.6 per cent at the end of 2012.

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