According to figures released last week, virtually 80% of Britons use broadband connections to get online. That’s a very high proportion, showing it’s made great inroads. But now it’s time to plan for the future. With a current average speed of 4Mbps, the Net needs to speed up to satisfy customers in the near future, especially business customers, and that’s why major players in the industry are meeting with government ministers, in order to plan strategy. "We need to be discussing how we can put this new network into place, because delay could be a barrier to the future success of our economy," said Stephen Timms, minister for competitiveness, told the BBC. Among the big companies, Virgin expects to have 70% of its cable network ramped up to 50Mbps speeds by the end of next year, thanks to the bundling of spare channels and the installation of new equipment at hubs. By comparison, British Telecom (BT) is investing almost $50 in its network, but only expects to have speeds of 24 Mbps available by 2011 via ADSL2+.
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