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The prime minister has backed the proposals of communications minister Lord Carter, who called for country-wide broadband access in the UK.

Gordon Brown said that the plans mapped out in the Digital Britain report, published today (Thursday, January 29th), would be crucial to bringing the nation up-to-speed with the broadband revolution.

The BBC quoted him as saying: "It affects every community in our country who are looking for the best digital infrastructure, access to broadband, that we can offer them.

"We know that every aspect of our lives in local communities - every school, every hospital, every workplace and even every home - will be dependent on the services that the digital network provides."

The newly-released report conceded that regions such as the Far East and western continental Europe have already taken the lead in the development of fibre-optic cable broadband networks.

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