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The EU needs to focus on states where broadband access is lagging behind in order to boost economic growth, the commission's leading telecommunications official has said.

According to the most recent figures, broadband access in Bulgaria and Romania, stands at 5.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.

This compares with 37.2 per cent for Denmark and 33.1 percent in the Netherlands, which are the states with the most widespread access to broadband connections in the EU.

This disparity requires action from the EU, according to Viviane Reding, to help the union's member states compete with burgeoning tiger economies such as China.

She said: "It is unacceptable that the gap between the strongest and weakest performers in Europe is growing. Europe must act now to get its broadband house in order."

Ms Reding said that specific proposals as to how the improvement can be delivered will be made public on November 13th.

The proposals are likely to include a motion to grant national telecoms regulators the power to separate networks and business arms of operators to foster competition among providers.

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