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Access to broadband internet services across the UK will greatly assist education for people of all ages, according to the chief executive of Becta, the next-generation learning organisation.

Writing in the Financial Times, Stephen Crowe has backed the proposal of universal broadband laid out in communications minister Lord Carter's recent Digital Britain report.

Mr Crowe went a step further, highlighting the benefits to business which widespread high-speed internet in the UK will bring.

He commented: "Universal access to high-speed broadband by 2012 will be vital for business, not only to continue to transform business processes, but also to deliver the education and skills required.

"Connecting the last 40 per cent of the population to our digital society gives a huge opportunity to raise education standards and provide powerful incentives to continue learning throughout life, across the population."

The government launched its Broadband For All scheme last month, allocating £300 million for the provision of fixed-line broadband access to children without a home connection.

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