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The private sector-led roll-out of next-generation broadband will equip 70 per cent of the population with high speed services, even without any public funding.

This is the major finding from a new government study, conducted by Analysys Mason Group, into the potential impact of public sector intervention in the broadband market.

Under existing government plans, a 50p-a-month broadband tax is to be introduced in order to fund 90 per cent high-speed broadband coverage in the UK by 2017.

However, the new report indicates that the controversial levy will help provide faster web services to just 20 per cent more households nationwide.

Last week, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee claimed that the government should abandon its plans to directly participate in the development of the national broadband infrastructure.

"Early government intervention runs a significant risk of distorting the market and will not allow time for technological solutions to extend the market’s reach across the country," the MPs claimed.

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