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The advent of widespread broadband is supporting a significant shift in working practices across the UK, it has been claimed.

According to cloud IT services provider ThinkGrid, access to high–speed internet in the home is enabling many professionals to avoid the often long and costly commute to the office.

Rob Lovell, chief executive of the firm, claimed that an increasing number of people are embracing this smarter working approach, supported by innovations such as cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service.

He claimed that broadband technology has "removed the barriers of the traditional office" by allowing sharing and collaboration of data and applications.

Mr Lovell added: "With the ability to securely access documents and remotely collaborate on them in real-time, and with desktop and phone systems able to span the globe, there is no reason why a traditional five-day working week in the office should continue."

Earlier this week, the government's Digital Inclusion champion Martha Lane Fox visited Barnsley, South Yorkshire, to see how the town's council is promoting the concept of universal broadband.

She claimed that Barnsley is "a fantastic example of how communities can benefit from being online".

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