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Many British consumers consider broadband to be "essential" and support the government's plan to make a 2Mb connection available to everyone.

New research from the Communications Consumer Panel has indicated that a large section of the population is behind the Digital Britain proposals, due to be implemented by 2012.

According to Computer Weekly, the study showed that home broadband is fast becoming essential rather than just useful, with a number of people already viewing it as something they could not do without.

The most popular online activities were found to be looking up information, emailing and shopping.

Anna Bradley, chairperson of the panel, will present all the findings to the Digital Britain team next month.

She explained the panel's backing for the plan in a letter to Stephen Carter, the communications minister, who is responsible for the final Digital Britain report.

Ms Bradley wrote: "It is clear that ensuring equal access across all four (British) nations will be important."

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