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A committee of MPs has urged the government to refocus on delivering universal 2Mb broadband in the UK.

Back in 2009, Labour's Digital Britain report outlined a universal service commitment of 2Mb through fixed-line and mobile technology - meaning this is the minimum broadband speed UK households and businesses should have access to.

But as broadband technology has evolved in recent years - bringing up to 300Mb download capabilities in some parts of the UK - much of the focus has been placed on the pursuit of faster speeds.

The government is aiming to ensure 95 per cent of the UK has access to super-fast broadband by 2017, but concerns have been raised about homes and businesses in the so-called 'final mile'.

In its new report, the Commons Rural Affairs Committee has picked up on the issue of patchy coverage, highlighting the problems faced by people living and working in broadband 'slow spots' and 'not spots'.

The report explains that - despite the rapid speeds now available in most UK towns and cities - many remote communities are continuing to struggle for connectivity.

And as such, the panel of MPs has called for the Con-Lib coalition to prioritise the nationwide delivery of 2Mb broadband over the pursuit of faster speeds.

Committee Chair Anne McIntosh, MP for the North Yorkshire constituency of Thirsk and Malton, claimed that thousands of people in rural communities have "ridiculously slow speeds or no connection at all".

"The universal service commitment of 2Mb is crucial and meeting it must be prioritised over increasing speeds for those who already enjoy an adequate service," she urged.

"The government must be clear when broadband will be available to those currently without access."

Ms McIntosh said that to speed up the rollout of broadband services, the government should publish details showing precisely which areas will be covered by BT under the ongoing Rural Broadband Programme.

This could allow alternative broadband providers to "fill the gaps" in network coverage, she suggested.

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