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The UK is set to become top dog for high-speed Net access in Europe, finally ridding itself of the broadband laggard tag.

Part of the UK's predicted success is due to the availability of cable services, although DSL is expected to be the dominant broadband technology.

That's according to media-focused research outfit Screen Digest, which reckons that the number of broadband households in the UK will, after a slow start, rise sharply throughout the next five years.

By year-end 2008, 12.7 million - half of UK households - will have broadband connections. Of those, it 4.1 million households will be hooked up to broadband services via cable. The rest (8.5 million) will have DSL broadband connections by 2008.

Said Screen Digest's broadband specialist Arash Amel: "The UK, unlike other European territories, has a well developed digital cable network and the rollout of broadband access has been a key component of the two cable operators' strategies.

"The emergence of alternative network offerings in the UK has increased competition in the market and will drive broadband growth more quickly than in other European markets."

Come 2008 the UK is tipped to be the biggest broadband nation in Europe with 12.7m lines, followed by Germany (12.6m) and France (10.8m).

Is it only a couple of years ago that an OECD report found that the UK was rooted firmly to the bottom of an international league table of broadband countries? ®

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UK is still broadband laggard - OECD

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