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The regulator Ofcom has announced that it is to start wide-ranging consultations on high-speed internet access.

Specifically, Ofcom is to delve into ways that Britain can keep up with the rest of the world regarding the speed of its internet connections.

The decision to launch the consultations comes in the wake of recent comments from Stephen Timms, minister for competitiveness.

In a speech on Tuesday night, he said it is now "essential" that Britain deploys new technology quickly, as the country cannot "lag behind".

Currently, most British residents with broadband have access speeds of between two and eight megabytes, whereas in some cities like Hong Kong the average connection speed is 100 megabytes.

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