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The planned fibre-optic cable broadband developments from Virgin Media and BT could serve to widen the UK's digital divide, it has been suggested.

Lord Carter's proposal to offer the whole of Britain 2Mb broadband access is important to address the under-connected parts of the country, according to Michael Phillips.

The Broadband Choices Product Director has stressed that if the plan to provide universal 2Mb access turns out to be a struggle, the ongoing roll-out of super-quick cable broadband services could accentuate the difference between internet in various areas.

He explained: "Virgin Media's new package is currently only available to a small portion of its cable network, with the ISP rolling it out over 2009 and BT only plans to provide 40 per cent of homes with fibre.

"The result of this could be that some parts of the country speed ahead with next generation broadband, while other areas languish on less than 2Mb."

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