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One of the main advantages of next-generation fibre-optic broadband is that it allows more people to work from home.

That is the view held by Joeri Van Bogert, resident of the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council of Europe, who has highlighted the possibilities super-fast connections could open up in the UK.

"There is evidence that subscribers to Fibre to the Home technology do a lot more teleworking," Mr Van Bogert told the BBC.

He went on to explain: "It is mainly due to the fact that fibre is bi-directional. Being able to upload things as quickly as they can be downloaded opens up more potential for home working."

With growing concerns over the pollution caused by vehicles, less people travelling to work each day would also bring environmental benefits.

Mr Van Bogert said that every time roads are "dug up" for the any maintenance or construction work fibre-optic cable should be laid.

According to BT, over 60 per cent of British businesses start from home - the telecoms giant predicted a trend towards home start-ups will continue as broadband connections improve.

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