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What do we want? USO!

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The Government should intervene to guarantee universal access to broadband services in the UK.

That's according to a survey of the UK's top IT professionals, two thirds of whom said that broadband was so important it should be available everywhere.

It's just one of the findings contained in the latest annual survey from the Communications Management Association (CMA), billed as providing a "comprehensive reflection of the current stage of development of the ICT market in the UK".

Although universal access might be top of the CMA's wish-list, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Only last week, as it happens, an influential group of MPs looking into broadband in the UK rejected the idea of an universal service obligation (USO) - for the time being at least - explaining that the market was at such an early stage that it was too early to make such a judgement.

Despite this, the CMA survey found that broadband usage among those quizzed had jumped to 66 per cent in 2003, up from 31 per cent in 2002.

A further 20 per cent of those quizzed are currently mulling the move to broadband.

Elsewhere, the survey found that confidence is returning to communications market, following the "fear and turbulence" of 2002.

And IT staff are beginning to benefit from "perceived job security" as increased stability returns to the market. Which is nice. ®

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