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The government's proposals to make 2Mb universal broadband available across the UK by 2012 lack vision, according to the University of Southampton's Professor of Computer Science.

Dame Wendy Hall has suggested that the plans fail to take into account how technology is evolving, particularly as such internet speeds would not be sufficient if high definition TV services are to be more widely available.

She called on ministers and other bodies to consider how fibre-optic technology can be made available.

The expert said: "We need to think harder about what type of society we're going to have in the age of networks and for sure ours is going to be a backward one if we don't get this right.

"We need to put optical fibre everywhere."

Stuart McIntosh, a competition partner at communications regulator Ofcom, recently stated that the introduction of super-fast broadband across the UK could have a "dramatic effect" on both homes and businesses.

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