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The number of people around the world able to receive ultrafast gigabit broadband is set to boom in the coming years, but the UK will still lag behind many of its international peers.

This is according to a new study by Rethink Technology Research, which forecast that by 2023, the number of subscribers to 1Gbps connections will rise tenfold from today.

Currently, it noted that in most countries, only around three to four per cent of homes have this available, but this is set to increase to around 30 per cent on average.

A key factor driving this is that the technology is set to become much more affordable. At the moment, such packages are available as selective, high-priced options, but this will change in the coming years, with gigabit capabilities becoming a "standard option".

But while gigabit broadband will be on offer to more than half of premises in leading nations such as France, Switzerland and South Korea, the UK will remain a "laggard", the research found.

Report author Peter White also wrote: "Fibre has become king, with most countries moving from broadband upgrades for the cheapest price using existing copper, to adopting a fibre first approach."

This will also mean that technologies currently being used to increase the speeds of existing lines, such as G.fast - which Openreach recently announced will be coming to 81 new locations - will become less relevant, with Mr White saying the "window of opportunity is closing" for such initiatives

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