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Implementing the government's next-generation broadband network could take up to ten years.

That is the warning levelled at the Digital Britain proposals by Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat party's Culture Spokesman.

The report, unveiled on Tuesday (June 16th), contained plans for the establishment of a Next Generation Fund that will raise approximately £150 million to £175 million per year through a 50p monthly tax on fixed phone lines.

It is intended that this money, to be managed by regulator Ofcom, will be used to deliver super-fast fibre broadband services to rural areas.

However, Mr Foster said: "The plans for rolling out next generation broadband are a step in the right direction but rural areas may face a wait of nearly a decade to see the benefit."

The Lib Dem MP also called on the government to consider exempting pensioners and other "less well-off people" from having to pay the broadband levy.

Meanwhile, BT chief executive Ian Livingston has backed the initiative.

He suggested that the Digital Britain report recognised the importance of finding ways to encourage investment in superfast broadband and offered a "creative solution" to the problem.

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