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European ministers are meeting in Ireland today to discuss how much progress has been made in stimulating demand for broadband.

In the last 18 months the average broadband take-up rate in Europe has shot up 150 per cent. By January 2004, 6.1 per cent of people in the EU had used a broadband connection.

Ministers accept that, so far, take-up has been patchy, with some countries more advanced than others. And even in those countries where take-up has fared well, much is restricted to urban areas.

Competition is seen as vital to improve the availability, price and quality of services, but the European Commission reckons that more is needed. The availability of advanced and innovative content, applications and services is essential to stimulating take-up," it says. ®

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