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The government has come under renewed fire over its plans for high-speed broadband provision in rural areas.

Highland MP Danny Alexander accused the government of essentially "writing off" at least ten per cent of the population as far as such services are concerned.

He argued that despite claims to the opposite effect, some parts of the countryside, including the Highlands, will never be equipped with the infrastructure required to support next-generation services.

Mr Alexander told the Press and Journal: "I estimate some quarter to a third of Highland people will never have access to the next-generation of this technology and that is unacceptable.

"Another third of the Highlands will be at the bottom of the queue to receive it."

Earlier this week, Charlie Brooks claimed in the Telegraph that a lack of access may harm people's job prospects in the future, especially as employers seek to take advantage of home working options.

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