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Britain's rural broadband infrastructure is to receive £265 million of investment courtesy of the European Parliament.

The sum is Britain's share of a £4.4 billion stimulus package which will also focus on renewable energy projects across the continent.

Caroline Flint, European Minister for the UK, said: "The fact that this injection of cash is targeted on renewable energy and broadband will ensure that we make the European recovery a green and high-tech recovery."

Ms Flint added that the investment in broadband would help make the continent "more competitive" and provide new opportunities for British businesses.

The European Parliament also opted to delay reforms of telecommunications regulations following a disagreement regarding the consumer rights of broadband users who persistently download copyrighted material.

In a bid to address the difficulties some rural residents have in accessing broadband, the provider Eutelsat Communications announced a new 2Mb satellite broadband service earlier this month.

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