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Broadband providers may need to use one single next-generation broadband network because of the recession, a new study has claimed.

The report, from consultancy company Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) division, explained that the roll-out of fibre-optic technology in the UK may be less market-based as a result of the weakening economy.

It suggested that a single fibre-optic network could be created, which would then be shared by providers.

"Regulators may determine that the fibre connectivity market is not sovereign, and that the case for a single network, with shared ownership and open access, might be the best way forward," the report said.

Parties with an interest in the provision of universal fibre-based broadband, which would be capable of speeds far higher than currently offered by the copper-based network, have been making their opinions known at the recent joint Westminster eForum and Media Forum keynote seminar.

Additionally, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron have said that full access to super-fast broadband for the whole country would be desirable.

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