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The government must not 'pass the buck' to the private sector where the provision of universal high-speed broadband is concerned, it has been claimed.

In a letter to ISPreview, Dave Breith, Chief Executive at telecoms firm O-bit, said public sector investment will be needed to provide an infrastructure network comparable with those of the UK's European neighbours.

He noted that Britain is set to enter "an unprecedented period of budget cuts", and that few resources have been set aside to achieve government broadband targets.

"Encouraging utilities companies to open up their networks of pipes to allow the private sector to install broadband is a good start, but makes it look like the government is shirking its responsibility," Mr Breith claimed.

"Although the private sector will play a massive part in creating the next generation of broadband networks, complete coverage of the UK can only be achieved with the full support of the government."

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics Media and Sport, recently said it was "a scandal" that almost three million households in the UK still cannot access 2Mb broadband speeds.

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