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E-minister calls for business broadband targets for 2010

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Ecommerce minister Stephen Timms has called for new targets to ensure that British business does not lose its broadband momentum.

The government aims to have the most extensive broadband network of any G7 country by 2005. But Timms said many companies are still not recognising the potential of broadband. Timms told the Financial Times that the goal should be to see more sophisticated use, rather than just connectivity.

Speaking of the targets for 2005 he said: "We will be pretty much there. It is time for us to think about where we want to be in 2010."

The UK has 3m broadband users and a higher proportion of goods and services sold online than the US. Ninety per cent of British companies now have Internet access and 59 per cent of these have a broadband connection.

The government has yet to set targets for 2010 but they are likely to be focused on better and smarter use of the technology rather than numbers of connections.

Timms is a rare politician with practical experience - he used to work for Logica and Ovum. ®

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