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Proposals that will lead to the introduction of universal broadband are to be assessed by the European Commission, it has been announced.

The organisation has revealed it is to assess the best approach to offering basic telecoms to all EU citizens in a new consultation set to run until the start of May.

Among the issues which will be considered are whether competition in the open market is enough to bring about universal broadband access and exactly what national and EU-wide response is needed in relation to the issue.

"This consultation will help us to check if we need to update the rules to ensure that all EU citizens have access to essential communication services, including fast internet," explained Neelie Kroes, Europe's Digital Agenda Commissioner.

She added that the evolution of technology means it is vital no one is excluded from "the digital society".

The UK's Digital Britain Minister Stephen Timms recently announced plans to get seven million new web users online by 2014.

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