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A new broadband minister could be appointed within the next few days, it has been reported.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills told BBC News that the new coalition government may make an announcement later this week.

Malcolm Corbett, Chief Executive of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association, had called for a new minister to take office as soon as possible.

"Without it, UK broadband risks drifting and that is not a good thing for UK competitiveness," he claimed.

Mr Corbett identified culture secretary Ed Vaizey as one appropriate candidate, describing him as being "on top of the issues" affecting the sector.

Among the first tasks for any new broadband minister could be reviewing the controversial Digital Economy Act, which was passed during the final days of the Labour administration.

The legislation was designed to combat the practice of illegal filesharing and has been condemned as draconian in many quarters, with broadband provider TalkTalk a leading critic.

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