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Companies choosing to locate themselves in one of the new government Enterprise Zones will have access to super-fast broadband, it has been announced.

Delivering his 2011-12 Budget speech in the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed coalition plans to create 21 new business centres, where growing firms can take advantage of tax and regulatory relief.

The policy - which was originally devised by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government in 1981 – is geared toward encouraging private sector growth in areas of high unemployment.

Mr Osborne confirmed that all businesses based in the new Enterprise Zones will be equipped with a super-fast broadband connection, although he did not specify the exact download and upload speeds to be made available.

He said there would be "government support to ensure super-fast broadband is rolled out" in the zones, which will be established in areas such as Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and London.

"This will be achieved through guaranteeing the most supportive planning environment and, if necessary, public funding," the Chancellor added.

Virgin Media is currently rolling out 100Mb fibre broadband services across its cabled areas, while BT's more extensive 'super-fast' Infinity network is set to offer speeds of up to 40Mb.

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