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Incoming Ofcom chair Dr Colette Bowe's suggestion that the universal service obligation (USO) attached to phone lines should be extended to broadband has been backed by the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The government has been urged to alter the USO which obliges BT to supply every household in the UK with telephony services to mean broadband would also be provided for.

Now Mike Weir MP, a representative of the SNP, has thrown his weight behind Dr Bowe on the issue, highlighting the many broadband-deprived areas north of the border.

He commented: "Many consumers in rural areas of Scotland cannot get broadband at all, or can only get it at speeds that are no better than old style dial up services, despite the fact that exchanges have been upgraded."

Meanwhile, the nature of Dr Bowe's appointment has caused dismay in some quarters, with her £200,000 salary, for working a reported three-day week, being called into question.

Dr Bowe already sits on the board of four companies.

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