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Few families need a broadband connection faster than 20Mb, according to a new study which suggests there is a limit to what consumers are willing to pay for internet access.

Research carried out by Point Topic UK has shown that demand for superfast speeds is increasing across the UK, but only up to speeds of 70Mb.

According to the analyst, this would be fast enough to stream one or two high-definition videos while also browsing, which is likely to cover most UK internet users' needs.

In the study, Point Topic notes that the majority of modern applications are unlikely to add more than 40Mb to 50Mb over any significant time period, with the vast majority of households being able to cope on 20Mb or less apart from on rare occasions.

Major broadband providers are continuing to boost the download speeds available to customers, with the likes of BT and Virgin Media both offering up to 100Mb, and although the analysis states that this far exceeds the average user's requirements, there is an argument for persevering with this rollout.

The most persuasive argument for the current rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services now is future proofing, the report suggests.

Point Topic notes that operators rolling out hybrid-fibre services, such as fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-node or neighbourhood (FTTN), which is less costly to deploy in the short-term, may need to return for further deployment in five years' time, as the bandwidth potential is limited compared to implementations that bring the fibre directly to the subscriber.

However, 20Mb certainly appears to be enough for most families at the moment, said Oliver Johnson, Chief Executive of Point Topic.

"Consumers are making a decision when they sign up to an operator's service that will usually be with them for at least a year and often two," he explained.

"If you are offered more bandwidth then fine but if it comes at a higher cost then a more complex value judgement takes place."

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