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Britain's kids could become the thickies of the world unless the UK gets wired up for broadband.

Research published yesterday in the US reveals that more and more students are turning to broadband access in the home to assist their educational studies.

Apparently, audio, video and 3-D graphics really help US kids learn more and get better grades.

The report, Broadband Watch: Back to School said that kids with broadband access at home have "an important advantage that can't be matched in many classrooms".

Parents reported that their kids' use of broadband services yielded "quantifiable results".

Eight out of ten parents - who expressed a preference - said their children's Net skills had improved since they began using DSL Internet service making their study time more productive.

While four out of ten parents said their children's interest in schoolwork had increased - and resulted in better grades - since they began using DSL.

Said Californian parent, Beverly Fierro: "My son uses DSL for research and for class reports; he gets both graphics and text information.

"He used dial-up first...but DSL is much faster...and makes it easier when you need to do research to go from one page to next without having to wait.

"I don't think he would put as much effort into research without the DSL Internet service.

"It would be too time-consuming and too frustrating for him," he said.

If broadband is able to inspire young people in the US to greater things, then it could equally disadvantage youngsters in the UK who are being denied access to broadband services access because of high prices limited availability.

As the UK recorded its 18th successive improvement in overall passes at "A" Level, there are genuine fears that this success could be undermined simply because those charged with the deployment of broadband have failed to make it widely available at a price people can afford.

Come on now, let's think of the children. After all, it's their future. ®

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