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The Swedish government has announced new universal broadband plans that suggest that Britain could soon be well behind its neighbours in terms of connection speeds.

Communications Minister Asa Torstensson has revealed proposals to provide 100Mb internet services to at least 40 per cent of the country's population by 2015, with the figure rising to 90 per cent by 2020.

According to PC Pro, the country's leader said the move would be vital in terms of its competitiveness.

"IT contributed to 40 per cent of the growth in Europe between 1995 and 2004 and it is becoming increasingly important," she added.

However, the move being made in Sweden suggests that the UK is well behind some of its European neighbours, with Gordon Brown's government suggesting that universal speeds of just 2Mb should be available by 2012.

Such plans were recently criticised by the Federation of Small Businesses, which called on MPs to increase the ambition of the Digital Britain initiative.

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