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Finding ways around limited government funding will be the "key thing" if the UK is going to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, it has been claimed.

Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), a government broadband advisory, said it would be extremely difficult to achieve this target in a situation where there is very constrained public spending.

"I think that is the really tricky bit; we're not in a situation where the government can throw vast amounts of money at this," he explained.

Soon after the general election, the Con-Lib coalition pushed back the timescale for its 2Mb universal service commitment from 2012 to 2015, citing a lack of available finance to invest in UK broadband.

The government has made £830 million available to bring high-speed broadband to rural areas, but the 2Mb minimum connection speed looks inadequate in light of the network capabilities of other countries around the world.

Mr Walker claimed that "smart solutions" will be required in the months and years ahead" to compensate for a lack of money for universal super-fast broadband.

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