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Plans outlined in the government's Digital Britain report could have a significant impact on broadband infrastructure, it has been warned.

According to Ripe NCC, higher levels of broadband penetration in the UK could place a strain on the number of available internet protocol (IP) addresses, which are the unique identifiers assigned to web-connected devices.

Axel Pawlik, managing director of the non-profit organisation, which manages IP addresses across Europe, warned that as many as 90 per cent of IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses have already been allocated globally.

He predicted that these will run out completely by 2011 and called for more governmental support of the IPv6 address system, which was developed to eventually replace IPv4.

"As the UK-wide broadband and other initiatives outlined in the Digital Britain report demonstrate, it's clear that governmental appetite and intention exists to assist in the development of the internet," Mr Pawlik continued.

He said that IPv6 will be essential to the delivery of "broadband for all" and ensuring that the entire population is able to access the next-generation broadband network.

Last week, chip manufacturer Arm warned that the government's plans to roll out 2Mb broadband could hinder the uptake of internet TV services, according to techradar.com.

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