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Local rural communities can play a key role in improving their own access to high-speed broadband, it has been claimed.

Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic, said that with government help, creative business plans can be created which will see the provision of lasting, fit-for-purpose super-fast broadband in the countryside.

He claimed that rural high-speed broadband is "going to bring huge benefits with it for many different parties".

"Local projects need to find ways of leveraging those benefits to finance the network, whether it's by getting money off property developers or contributions for the environmental benefits," Mr Johnson added.

However, he noted that the government must free up internet service providers to deploy local networks, eliminating the fibre broadband tax and protecting them from larger operators.

"How can a small operator deploy a network when there is a real concern they'll be gazumped by a BT or Virgin deployment as yet unannounced?" Mr Johnson questioned.

"And how can small operators afford to pay extortionate rates on any fibre they do install and still make the numbers add up?"

He said the coalition has to address these issues "urgently" if it wants to see a good broadband infrastructure developed across Britain. 

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