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Consumers in the UK will only get access to universal fibre-optic broadband services if the government supports their introduction, it has been claimed.

John Higgins, Director General of technology industry organisation Intellect, has stated in a column for that the body has always maintained that "the case for public intervention" to help the market introduce such services is "clear".

He outlined that studies have provided plenty of evidence that only 60 per cent of the UK would enjoy such coverage if the issue was the sole responsibility of the industry.

"We are firm, therefore, that to ensure that fast broadband is available to as many people as possible, some form of support will be needed," he explained.

Mr Higgins added that the government's proposed broadband tax is also just "one way of achieving this".

BT recently announced the launch of its new Infinity fibre-optic broadband service, which offers users access to speeds of up to 40Mb.

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