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The government has claimed that a connection speed of 2Mb will be the minimum available through its universal broadband network.

In the Digital Britain report, which was published earlier this year, ministers claimed that speeds of "up to" 2Mb would be available UK-wide by 2012, but it has emerged that the estimate has been increased.

Stephen Timms, the government's Digital Britain minister, stated at a recent All Party Parliamentary Committee on Communications meeting that the rate will be the minimum amount.

Ofcom chairman Derek Wyatt welcomed the move, telling "I am encouraged by the minister being brave enough to guarantee 2Mb."

The benefits of universal broadband were recently outlined by new research published by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

According to the study, households without an internet connection are missing out on savings of up to £560 a year, as they do not have access to cheap deals on the likes of utilities.

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