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The private sector must be allowed to push next-generation broadband as far as it can, according to one service provider.

Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said private investment has been crucial to the development of the UK's broadband infrastructure and it is vital that the government does not create obstacles for further developments.

He reported that when broadband first emerged, commentators only expected the networks to reach 60 per cent of the population, but there is now 99 per cent coverage across the UK thanks to the involvement of private companies.

Mr Dunstone added: "We now need to let the private sector drive next-generation broadband as far as it can.

"Public funding at this stage – in what appears to be an effort to 'keep up with the Joneses' in Korea, Singapore and the Netherlands – is simply going to waste customers' money and slow down roll-out."

Earlier this week, TalkTalk expressed concern that the government's proposed 50p a month broadband tax could lead many low-income households to give up their connection.

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