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A headteacher has called on the government to subsidise broadband, after warning of the burdensome connection costs faced by his school.

Alan Simpson, of Seaton Primary School in the Axe Valley, North Devon, said that with falling pupil numbers, the establishment could no longer afford its annual broadband bill of £8,000.

Without public sector help, either the connection or a member of staff will have to go, he told the Midweek Herald.

He said there was "great outcry" in the area over the issue, but with a lack of local broadband provider competition there appeared to be no way of solving the problem.

"A number of schools are talking about if they can afford it - which could have a serious effect on education," he said.

"We will be OK for this year, but we could struggle in future, depending on what numbers are coming in. It could mean cutting staff, but I would prefer to lose broadband."

Earlier this week, the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council announced plans to offer faster free broadband connections in libraries across the UK.

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