The government has issued its strongest signal yet that Britain will not be allowed to fall behind other nations in the installation of super-fast fibre networks for broadband.
As predicted, minister for competitiveness Stephen Timms told the Broadband Stakeholder Group on Tuesday that he will chair a "high-level summit" later in the year to discuss public sector involvement in building the networks.
"I see it as one of my highest personal priorities that we have a high-performance telecommunications infrastructure in every part of the country, enabling us to compete successfully on a global basis," he added.
"Other countries are starting to invest in new, fibre-based infrastructure, delivering considerably higher bandwidth than is available in the UK today."
Earlier this year, the BSG called for the networks - already commonplace in several Asian nations and currently being widely installed in French cities - to be built in the UK soon.
While acknowledging that fibre technology was still "at a very embryonic stage", the BSG report nevertheless called on industry watchdog Ofcom to implement a financial framework for the networks to encourage investment in them from UK companies.