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High-speed broadband services could bring about a mass exodus of workers from the west Midlands to coastal and countryside areas.

That is according to a tongue-in-cheek survey by mobile broadband supplier Orange, which indicated that 81 per cent of the population would leave the region if broadband speeds became sufficiently adequate to allow them to work remotely.

The internet service provider asked residents from the region where they would choose to live if the government delivers on its promise to provide universal access to fast and reliable broadband by 2012.

Interestingly, the study indicated that freed from the confines of their offices, these broadband users would be interested in moving to south-west England, which would see its population rise by 150 per cent, and Scotland, whose population would rise by 58 per cent.

Robert Ainger, director of corporate marketing at Orange UK, suggested that the digital revolution could "forever change the way we all lead our lives".

He added that broadband-enabled remote working might also end the traditional economic dominance of the south-east.

Futurologist James Bellini said: "Universal connectivity is already having a huge impact on our lives.

"Our research shows that already 39 per cent of people are able to work some or all of the time from a location of their choice and employees are increasingly realising that they can be just as productive working from home or on the move."

Recently, DMSL predicted that BT's Broadband Accelerator will help businesses to boost their existing broadband speeds to 20Mb.

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