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Broadband has a significant role to play in tackling issues such as climate change and encouraging businesses to go greener.

According to a report from the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU's) Broadband Commission for Digital Development (BCDD), the technology will help create a global economy which is less reliant on activities which generate a lot of carbon emissions.

However, for this to become a reality, a number of global broadband targets need to be met. The BCDD is calling for all countries across the globe to develop a national broadband strategy by 2015, a point when most nations are expected to be offering affordable entry-level internet connections.

The body suggested that broadband user penetration must reach 60 per cent worldwide by this time.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of the ITU, said: "Addressing climate change implies completely transforming our way of life, the way we work, the way we travel, shifting our model of development to a fairer, more sustainable model to ensure our survival.

"We need to put at stake all the resources available to us and mobilise the political will to turn discussions and negotiations into agreements and actions."

The report set out ten recommendations which included ensuring there are clear regulations in place surrounding broadband and climate change, identifying and removing the regulatory and policy barriers currently hindering research and investment in 21st century broadband and form partnerships across public, private and non-governmental sectors and industries to help generate ideas of how to spread broadband's reach.

In the UK, under current plans it is hoped that around 90 per cent of the population will have access to superfast broadband with speeds of 24Mb or over by 2015 with everyone expected to have access to speeds of 2Mb by this time.  

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