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EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding has called for higher broadband penetration throughout Europe following a new investigation.

The 13th report on the implementation of the telecommunications regulatory package released on Wednesday calls for an overall penetration of 30 per cent by 2010.

Currently, eight EU member states are ahead of the US in terms of the percentage of homes with access to broadband services, with Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands leading the way.

Britain was also found to be outperforming the US - where 22.1 per cent of households have broadband. However, Ms Reding said there was still room for improvement.

Calling for increased competition, she said: "Only by opening up the single market for business will Europe become competitive and will consumers benefit from a wide choice of rich and affordable services."

Her comments follow the findings of the previous year's report in which it was found that while many consumers have more choice when it comes to picking suppliers, the full potential of the internal market remains unexploited.

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