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Local firms and consumers in the Midlands are showing increased demand for broadband services because of swine flu, it has been claimed.

According to supplier Internet Central, there has been a surge in demand for ADSL2+ broadband, which provides increased bandwidth and greater stability, because of fears that employees will need to work from home.

The Birmingham Post noted that the internet service provider was seeing an early response to the threat of a pandemic from local businesses.

That is despite reports of a recent Whitehall meeting in which it was claimed that a third have no plans to deal with swine flu.

Dave Thorpe, director of operations at the broadband provider, was quoted by the paper as saying that swine flu could place a significant strain on schools, infrastructure, health services and companies.

"Businesses need to think about how this would impact on their day-to-day running. In the last week alone demand for our broadband services and our support services has increased significantly," he said.

Recently, BT claimed that its national broadband network will be capable of handling the strain if more people start working from home.

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