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Broadband providers BT, Sky and TalkTalk are among a number of top firms backing a new initiative to get more people in the UK online.

Race Online 2012, which is also being backed by Google and Microsoft, is the brainchild of Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox and aims to get as many non-web users as possible online by the end of the year of the London Olympics.

In support for the scheme, Sky, BT and TalkTalk have all committed to getting around 100,000 new users online in the near future through the Pass IT On initiative.

Discussing the plans, Ms Lane Fox said the project will create "profound social and economic change".

She added: "Together we are within reach of our goal to enable the four million most socially excluded to benefit from the opportunities and cost efficiencies that the web has to offer."

Details of the initiative have come after BT installed new fibre-optic broadband services in areas across the UK, including Essex, London, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

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