266w ago - Super-fast broadband could be delivered via the underground pipes of the UK's water and electricity companies, regulator Ofcom has said.
It is conducting a survey of the UK's ducting network to see its suitability for carrying fibre networks.
Some companies in the UK and France already offer fast broadband via the sewers.
Ofcom also wants to see the three million homes earmarked to be built in the UK by 2020, fibre-enabled.
It has opened a consultation - which will run until June 25 - to see how best to regulate next-generation networks.
Critics have warned that the regulator is not doing enough and that the UK is in real danger of falling behind with the rollout of superfast broadband access.
"The fact that this is just a consultation is another indication that the UK is lagging behind," said Ian Fogg, an analyst with Jupiter Research.
In France, for example, there are already three operators providing superfast broadband to homes at speeds of between 50 and 100 megabits per second. One of these offers an IPTV service and Voice-over IP telephone line alongside its fibre service, for 29.99 euros per month.
In a speech delivered to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ofcom...
285w ago - Net users in the UK have rated the ability to download DVD-quality films quickly as the service they most want from next-generation broadband.
In a survey conducted by Broadbandchoices.co.uk, users put it ahead of video calls, High Definition video downloads and home surveillance.
Some 18% said they downloaded films although it was the online activity they devoted the least time to. The most popular activities are still sufing and checking e-mail.
Some 61% rated "downloading DVD quality films in five minutes" as the most interesting application for future broadband services.
The survey was intended to get a feel from what consumers may want from next-generation broadband in the light of recent questions about how and when the UK should move to super-fast services.
However, there was uncertainty over how whether people would be prepared to pay extra for such services, with 60% responding either no or don't know.
The services people rated the most exciting drivers of next-generation broadband were the ones they spent the least time on currently.
"From our results it does appear a little contradictory that respondents rated 'watching TV' or downloading films as being the least amount of time spent on the internet in a week and yet when asked...