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The broadband sector could be one of the least-affected industries amid the ongoing financial downturn, according to one senior figure at BT.

Speaking to the Financial Times, BT chief executive Ian Livingston has highlighted the growing demand for high-speed internet services at home and in the workplace.

For this reason, Mr Livingston says that broadband has many "defensive qualities" for the battle through the economic gloom.

He commented: "At work broadband has become a critical component of productivity."

Adding: "It is also part of the solution for many companies who are looking to save costs [by] holding meetings by video conference instead of travelling."

BT has plans for a £1.5 billion next-generation broadband network which will eventually reach 40 per cent of the UK population.

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