Research from consultancy firm Point Topic highlights a 20% increase in UK households with a broadband connection, making Britain the globe's quickest-expanding market.

When cable and satellite connections are taken into account this figure rises to 7.1 million.

The world's largest market, China, saw a 15% growth, taking its total to over 20 million connections; the US came in second with 15 million; closely followed by Japan's 14 million. The UK's total market size puts it in seventh place globally.

At the end of May, BT Retail provided 1.75 million connections, equating to a 24.5% share of the total UK broadband market, according to estimates of UK internet service providers.

Of the non-BT internet service providers, accounting for almost 3.25 million connections, NTL is the biggest, boasting 1.44 million customers, including an estimated 1.32 million cable connections. Over 2 million connections are cable - a little under 30% of the UK broadband total.

AOL is second with a 26% increase in market share to 895,000 subscribers; Telewest is up 13% to 763,000; and Wanadoo, formerly Freeserve, has 717,000 customers, an increase of 5.4%.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff.