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Increasing consumer and business broadband speeds around the UK will provide a significant boost to the national economy, it has been claimed.

According to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), universal 2Mb broadband will be worth £1.4 billion in increased ecommerce activity.

The organisation claims that web users with a high-speed internet connection are 36.9 per cent more likely to make online sales than those reliant upon dial-up technology.

Rob Taylor, founder of TST Digital, which conducted the research on behalf of the IPA Search Group, said the government's Digital Britain initiative represents "a great opportunity to drive economic growth and competitive advantage".

"Not only could the higher connection speeds result in £1.4 billion more money directly entering the digital economy, it is also likely to lead to more jobs and greater digital expertise, not to mention a fantastic return on investment," he added.

Mark Fagan, Chairman of the IPA Search Group, claimed that faster broadband speeds make online shopping a much more user-friendly experience.

The Conservative Party has derided the Digital Britain aim of widespread 2Mb broadband as lacking ambition, given that private sector broadband providers are already targeting speeds of 100Mb plus.

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