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Virgin Media has called on the government to change the focus of its Urban Broadband Fund, to avoid duplicating existing networks.

The coalition has set aside £150 million in funding for the creation of 20 connected cities, but Virgin Media believes there is little need for public investment in major towns and cities.

The broadband provider - which recently launched a legal challenge against Birmingham’s Smart City scheme - says the private sector will deliver super-fast connectivity across urban Britain without government intervention.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media told City AM that the funding of super-connected cities needs "a major overhaul" if the government is to help drive small business growth.

At present, the plans will achieve little in terms of unlocking "the promised revenue and productivity benefits", the representative stated.

"Public funds should be focused on where they’re needed most, investing in skills, access and training to drive usage and enable small businesses to take full advantage of existing next-generation networks," the spokesperson added.

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