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Next-generation broadband is in demand in the UK, one industry figure has suggested.

Head of communications at Ernst & Young, Mark Gregory, has pointed out that in the past when improved broadband networks have been put in place, capacity has been snapped up by investors.

For this reason, Mr Gregory thinks that the private sector would be happy to buy into a super-fast broadband network should it arise.

He commented: "Every time there has been an increment in broadband capacity provision there has been absolutely no problem with that capacity being consumed and taken up and as an investor I do regard that as a bond that I would be prepared to invest against."

BT plans to connect 40 per cent of the population to fibre-optic broadband by the year 2012 in a £1.5 billion project.

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