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Scientists believe graphene, the strongest material on earth, could help provide a broadband speed boost.

Researchers at Manchester and Cambridge universities think the material's superconductive properties could provide great benefits when used in optical communications systems.

Using graphene – which was discovered in 2004 – electrons could flow at high speed with great mobility, the researchers said.

Professor Kostya Novoselov, one of the lead researchers, commented that the technology of graphene production is maturing day-by-day.

"[This] has an immediate impact both on the type of exciting physics which we find in this material, and on the feasibility and the range of possible applications," he said.

"Many leading electronics companies consider graphene for the next generation of devices. This work certainly boosts graphene's chances even further."

At present, the fastest broadband speeds available to residential properties in the UK are the 100Mb downloads offered by Virgin Media's fibre network.

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