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Communications minister Stephen Carter may update a Universal Service Order (USO) to mean that providers in the UK would be obliged to supply any UK resident with broadband.

There is currently an USO in place which requires BT to provide a land line and dial-up internet to any household in the land.

This could be amended to mean that a broadband connection must also be set-up for any Brit who is willing to pay for one.

Instead of the rule applying exclusively to BT, Mr Carter may make other broadband providers responsible for supplying the service, a report in the Times suggests.

"We are at a tipping point in terms of broadband availability," Lord Carter told the Broadcasting Press Guild last month.

He went on to envisage a "country universally connected to video-capable broadband of 2Mb - that is a base starter for 10".

While BT has the chance to promote its other services as a result of the USO, the telecoms giant is said to lose £57m and £74m a year because of it, according to Ofcom.

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