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While high-speed broadband provides a number of benefits to users, consumers should not have unrealistic service expectations, it has been claimed.

Nigel Hawthorn, Vice-President of Europe, Middle East and African marketing for Blue Coat Systems, pointed out that downloads and uploads can still take time to complete.

He explained that as broadband bandwidth increases, so does the availability of services - such as live streaming - that require high speeds in order to function.

Mr Hawthorn commented: "Bandwidth does not equal performance. People are often disappointed in that they expect that doubling bandwidth capacity will halve wait times and this is not the case."

He claimed that additional bandwidth is akin to adding additional lanes to a motorway, rather than shortening the distance of a journey.

"If the data is far away from the user and the service needs two-way communications, then additional bandwidth may make no difference or only marginal improvement," Mr Hawthorn said.

Earlier this week, the Conservative Party said it would target universal 100Mb broadband by 2017 if it wins the next general election.

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