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The UK is not significantly lagging behind other nations in the development of next-generation networks, according to a senior figure at Virgin Media.

Kevin Baughan, the UK ISP's director of technical strategy, has responded to the suggestion that Britain is well behind other western countries in the construction of a fibre-optic infrastructure.

Speaking to IPTV News, Mr Baughan has highlighted the creation of Virgin Media's 50Mb network, which will provide over half of Britain with high-speed services by the end of the year.

He said: "I would challenge the statement that the UK is lagging behind - the move by Virgin Media to deliver 50Mb services to 12.6 million homes by the end of this summer easily brings the UK in line with other highly connected European nations.

"Due to the level of investment by Virgin Media and the rolling out of these advanced services, a deep fibre cable infrastructure is just as capable as a fibre-to-the-home network."

Virgin Media recently scrapped its 2Mb offering and will now market only 50Mb, 20Mb and 10Mb packages.

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