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Schools in Devon have expressed concern over a regulatory change which may leave them unable to afford their broadband connections.

Local primary schools have been issued with energy bills of up to £8,000, after the government decided to alter the way it funds IT.

The Express and Echo reports that council funding for broadband previously came from Harnessing Technology grants, but these have now been ring-fenced for IT hardware.

In addition, local councils are no longer required to match any funding provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Alan Simpson, Chairman of the Axe Valley Learning Community in East Devon, said the local council was now deciding whether to allocate additional funding in order to settle the unpaid bills.

He told the news provider that there would be a "huge sigh of relief" if it chooses to do so.

Under current government plans, all businesses and households with a telephone landline are to be taxed 50p a month to help fund the rollout of high-speed broadband.

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