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Superfast broadband to pass 250,000 users in UK

Superfast broadband is beginning to catch on in the UK, as a new report reveals that next-gen connections will pass a quarter of a million this month.

While the report may be welcome news for advocates of faster internet access, broadband analyst Point Topic is still cautious in predicting the success of the technology, noting that the 250,000 figure still represents only one per cent of UK homes.

Still, the future for super-fast connections could be bright, if they're anything like the first wave of UK broadband. Launched in 2000, broadband spread to more than 13 million lines within five years. Today that figure has reached 19 million, says Point Topic.

"It's dangerous just to assume that history will repeat itself but it's still a good pointer to what will happen to superfast broadband in this decade," said Point Topic chief analyst Tim Johnson in a statement.

According to Point Topic's report, superfast broadband connections numbered 175,000 by the end of 2010. Most of them - around 118,000 - were Virgin Media customers, signed up to its 50bit/s cable service. The rest received theirs mostly via BT's telecoms infrastructure.

By the end of March, Point Topic estimates the number of superfast broadband lines grew to 236,000 - and should exceed 250,000 by the end of April.