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The age of widespread gigabit internet is quickly becoming a reality as tougher competition in the market drives more broadband providers to invest in full fibre networks.

This is according to a new report from the Broadband World Forum (BBWF) highlighted by Computer Weekly, which noted that internet operators in mature economies such as the UK are looking towards newer, faster technologies in order to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

Investing in ultrafast technologies such as full fibre therefore "offers the opportunity to appeal to the tech-savvy, high-spending customer and earn a premium over lower-speed tiers", the study said.

At the moment, however, the report suggested this fervour for faster connections is being driven more by operators' desire to get ahead of their competitors than in response to any great consumer demand.

Currently, it stated most consumer applications don't require enough bandwidth to make gigabit connectivity a necessity, although there are a few niche areas such as augmented and virtual reality where it is required.

However, the fact investments are being made now could be good news in the longer-term, as it may mean that when more applications emerge - as they inevitably will as technologies such as 4K streaming become more mainstream - the necessary infrastructure to support them will already be in place.

BBWF Digital Content Lead Niall Hunt commented: "In an environment of high investment in networks, as we push towards the gigabit society and 5G, as well as the increasingly fickle nature of customers, operators across the globe are painting a rosy picture."

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