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Lord Carter's suggestion that the BBC could divert funding towards the development of next-generation broadband in the UK is entirely justified, according to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

The organisation which represents rural interests has supported the stance taken by the communications minister earlier in the week – that the public service broadcaster should contribute towards next-generation broadband development.

CLA president Henry Aubrey-Fletcher welcomed the call for more public backing for broadband in the UK.

He said: "Lord Carter has accepted what the CLA has been saying for some time, that the Government objective of broadband for all by 2012 can only become a reality if the public sector invests heavily.

"We won't have universal broadband in rural areas without significant public investment. We have already said that a proportion of the BBC licence fee should be used to contribute to the cost of this."

Lord Carter was speaking at a business select committee meeting in the House of Commons.

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