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Broadband providers need to work out how widespread demand for next-generation internet access will be created, an industry expert has claimed.

According to Roger Darlington, a member for England at the Communications Consumer Panel, internet service providers need to consider how best to drive consumer and business take-up when high-speed networks are in place.

In order to progress, the communications industry needs to consider what individuals and organisations want to use next-generation broadband for, as well as how to secure funding, he claimed.

Speaking as Chairman of the Westminster eForum keynote seminar the Future of Broadband in the UK, he said a major question for the industry is "where we go next in terms of next-generation broadband or next-generation access".

"Do we have the regulatory framework right to incentivise and promote these networks? How are we going to fund these networks?" he questioned.

With one home in every four not being connected to the internet at all, Britain still falls short of being "a real broadband-enabled nation", Mr Darlington noted.

Earlier this month, Sam Calvert, head of online acquisition and retention for BT Broadband, suggested that online services can help improve home and family life.

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