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Forward-thinking countries have the opportunity to make rapid progress in terms of broadband quality if they are willing to invest, it has been claimed.

Tony Hart, Associate Fellow in the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, drew attention to the "unprecedented speed" at which ambitious nations can become a broadband leader.

Some emerging economies, such as Latvia and Bulgaria have been able to show improvements in broadband leadership of around 60 per cent in just one year, he noted.

"Kenya has the record with a 174 per cent improvement over three years - albeit from a very small starting point," Mr Hart stated.

"Compared to the many growth-enabling infrastructures of the past – the telephone, electricity, railways – which took many decades or even centuries to impact the wider population, we can see that high quality internet access can have an impact on the bulk of the population within just a few years."

He said that broadband's impact will reach the developing world "much faster than any other technology of the past".

The UK government is aiming to deliver 2Mb broadband services across the UK, including the majority of rural areas, by 2015.

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