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Half of all European households are still without broadband access, it has been revealed.

The new European Union (EU) Digital Competitiveness Report has demonstrated that one-third of those surveyed claimed they did not have a need for broadband, while one-in-four said the reason they did not have a connection was because of cost.

However, the study also showed that 56 per cent of Europeans are regular broadband users, which represents an increase of one-third compared to the equivalent figures in 2004.

Furthermore, 70 per cent of people under the age of 24 use the service every day.

Commenting on the fact that many of the younger broadband users admitted they would not pay to download music or videos, Viviane Reading, EU Commissioner for Information, Society and Media, said this demographic is an intensive and demanding group of consumers.

"To release the economic potential of these 'digital natives', we must make access to digital content an easy and fair game," she remarked.

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