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Jyoti Choudrie of the department of information systems and computing at Brunel University said if more uses for broadband could be found, more people might be attracted to it.
"The government is putting in lots of money and so is business, but research is needed on the diffusion of broadband to increase its uptake even more," she said.
Last year Choudrie's unit visited South Korea, where 9.2 million households had broadband connections by June 2002.
In contrast, the UKrecently announced its one millionth broadband user, and internet take-up has levelled off at 42%.
"In Korea we saw government-funded testbed sites where whole communities were linked - homes, schools, SMEs, shops - in networks which promoted efficiencies and promoted B2B links," said Choudrie.
"We need to discover what it is possible to do with broadband to make it more than just a way of downloading games and music."