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The government should start the deployment of super-fast broadband services in rural areas as soon as possible, it has been claimed.

A spokesperson for the Communications Consumer Panel said it is "imperative" that publicly-subsidised next-generation access becomes available in not-spots at the earliest opportunity.

"The panel supports the government's intention to stimulate the roll-out of super-fast broadband to the third of the population the market is unlikely to reach," he commented.

However, the spokesperson stated that taxpayers' money should not be spent on improving web services in areas likely to be targeted by private sector broadband providers.

"Public subsidy should not be used as a substitute for market-led initiatives and should be deployed only in those areas commercial roll-out would not reach," he added.

Last week, fibre-optic infrastructure specialist's i3 Group claimed the UK is in danger of being left with a mediocre broadband network if 24Mb is set as the benchmark speed.

The firm claimed the advent of applications such as IPTV and high definition video on-demand will mean such download speeds become quickly outdated.

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