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Broadband is one of the "fastest growing new technologies in history" even beating the meteoric rise of mobile phones, according to analysts at research outfit Point Topic.

Its end-of-year look at the world-wide broadband market - including DSL, cable modems and fibre-optic - found that there are now more than 100 million broadband lines in the world.

According to Point Topic, it took the broadband industry 3.5 years to reach the magic 100 million mark, whereas it took 5.5 years for the mobile phone industry to hit such heady heights.

Elsewhere, researchers concluded that 2003 was a notable year for China, which is fast becoming a broadband superpower. With more than 12 million broadband lines, China is expected to overtake Korea in the first quarter of 2004 and Japan within a year or so.

Market observers also found that DSL broadband prices have fallen by around 25 per cent over the last 12 months or so, one of the major reasons for driving take-up of high-speed Net access. ®

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