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Global broadband speeds continued to increase during the final three months of 2013, it has been reported.

According to the latest Akamai Technologies' State of the Internet Report, the average fixed-line broadband connection was capable of transferring data at a rate of 3.8Mb between October and December last year.

This represented a 5.5 per cent rise on the previous quarter, suggesting progress continues to be made on the uptake of faster broadband technologies.

South Korea held the top spot in terms of average connection speeds with 21.9Mb, with Japan (12.8Mb), the Netherlands (12.4Mb), Hong Kong (12.2Mb) and Switzerland (12.0Mb) completing the top five.

But despite the overall increase in download speeds, four of the countries listed in the top ten saw nominal declines: South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Latvia.

Speed increases in Ireland (ninth place) and the US (tenth) mean that, for the first time in history, the top ten fastest nations all have average connection speeds of 10Mb or more.

The UK came in 13th in the Akamai chart, with 9.4Mb, up 3.3 per cent on the quarter and 29 per cent year-on-year.

Across the entire chart, 133 countries/regions ended the year with higher average download capabilities than the year before. This contributed to a 27 per cent rise in the global average speed compared to Q4 2012.

"We've reached a significant milestone in the improvement of average connection speeds," said David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report.

"The fact that all of the top ten countries/regions' average connection speeds are now at or exceeding the high broadband threshold - and continued strong growth in countries like South Korea and Ireland - is indicative of the progress that's being made in broadband penetration."

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