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Business rates charged on fibre-optic broadband networks are slowing down the rollout of superfast services in the UK.

That is according to Computer Weekly, which cited Eurim, the cross parliamentary-industry group, as suggesting that the rates are also undermining efforts to provide a 2Mb universal service commitment.

The website suggested that broadband is being held back by "political", rather than "technical" considerations.

It also pointed to the case of Vtesse Networks, a small fibre-optic broadband provider which is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Valuation Office, the body responsible for setting business rates.

The crux of the issue is that Vtsesse doesn't agree with the office's claim that it should pay the same rate for fibre-optic network infrastructure that it rents as for what it owns.

This week, a report issued by Ofcom revealed there are significant differences between advertised broadband speeds and attainable rates.

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