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Delivering nationwide super-fast broadband coverage will require significantly more public funding than is currently available, it has been claimed.

Consultancy firm Analysys Mason believes that a minimum of £1 billion will be required to bring faster download speeds to the UK countryside.

Earlier this week, the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications called for the government to prioritise the delivery of high-speed broadband in rural areas.

The panel of peers claimed that greater focus is needed on bringing the benefits of broadband to everyone, rather than delivering faster speeds to the major towns and cities.

But Analysys Mason has concerns over the plan, in terms of the money available to deliver universal high-speed broadband in the UK.

"As the report notes, the amount of government funding allocated to broadband schemes totals £750 million - less than our estimated cost for building hubs in the most rural ten per cent of the UK."

"If the hubs were expected to provide greater population coverage - perhaps as much as the final 33 per cent of the UK population - then the shortfall would be even greater."

The firm said additional funding may be available at the European Union level, but it seems unlikely that broadband providers themselves would contribute to the construction of a new open-access dark fibre network.

This is because they would risk damaging the value of their own existing networks, the firm claimed.

"Furthermore, the proposals might delay the roll-out of commercially funded networks, as operators would be likely to wait to see in which areas their planned infrastructure could be duplicated," Analysys Mason added.

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