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With substantial private investment in next-generation broadband not a given, the government must be prepared to act, according to the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG).

Peter Shearman, policy manager at the UK government's leading broadband advisory group, has told IT Pro that the current economic downturn has meant large investment into high-speed internet - such as fibre-optic cable broadband - in the future is no longer certain.

Mr Shearman insists that the government should be willing to address the matter should private funding for next-generation projects be low.

He explained: "The government needs to keep a watch on NGA investment. We are yet to fully see the impact of the current economic conditions on investment decisions.

"If investment fails to materialise, the government may need to step in, in some form."

BSG chairman Kip Meek has previously described the government's "leadership role" in next-generation broadband as "important".

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