Individuals and businesses using courier services to deliver items that have been sold online could soon see an increase in buying activity in areas with access to 'ultrafast' broadband services.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that 27 cities across the UK are now in the running to become 'super-connected'.
The locations have been invited to bid for a share of a £50 million fund that will help them roll out high-speed internet with the aim of encouraging economic growth and investment.
Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, York, Sunderland, Wolverhampton, Oxford and Coventry are among the English cities eligible for the scheme, along with Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth in Scotland, Newport and Swansea in Wales and Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
Financing to provide 80 to 100 megabytes-per-second broadband access to locations across the UK was first announced in chancellor George Osborne's Budget earlier this year.
The first cities to benefit from the programme were London, Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Locations bidding for the next round of funding will need to present plans detailing how they would use their share of the £50 million by May 18th 2012.
Mr Hunt said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for 27 cities across the country to demonstrate how they would revolutionise the way their residents and businesses get online.
"These ultrafast speeds will allow more cities in the UK to compete with the fastest in the world, bringing new opportunities for growth, the development of high-tech industries and the transformation of public services."
The government has announced a target to give the UK the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, which could be beneficial for online shoppers and people selling things via the internet.
Some £530 million has been allocated to broadband investment during this Parliament.
Author: Adrian Medland