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The government has revised its pledge to provide near-universal 2Mb broadband by 2012, it has been announced.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said that despite the desire to make this achievement a reality, there is simply not enough funding in place in light of the recession.

He announced that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Broadband Delivery UK had now agreed to push the timescale back to 2015.

"We have set ourselves a more realistic target of achieving universal 2Mb access within the lifetime of this parliament," he said.

The original 2012 pledge was a central feature of Labour's much-maligned Digital Britain report last summer.

Lord Carter found that 160,000 households across the UK continue to have no access to broadband technology.

Earlier this week, Jeremy Hunt said the government was planning to make the UK Europe's strongest digital economy by 2015.

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