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Broadband providers and industry bodies have reacted positively to news that the government aims to tackle planning red tape.

The Con-Lib coalition is set to make a number of regulatory changes in order to speed up the rollout of broadband services and ensure more homes and businesses can benefit from the super-fast internet.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said efforts to cut through the red tape that hampers the rollout of better broadband are "welcome" albeit overdue.

"We're fully behind the government's ambition to ensure Britain has the best broadband in Europe and steps like this will help support Virgin Media's on-going private investment," they stated.

"We're in the process of doubling the speeds of over four million households across the country so the reforms will be a big boost in ensuring we're able to better deploy our services to consumers and businesses."

UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox also welcomed the announcement, saying it is "critical" that consumers and small businesses have digital capability and access to fast and reliable broadband.

This allows them to benefit from all the opportunities the web offers to transform the way they live and the way they do business.

"Making it easier to deploy broadband, particularly in more rural areas, will help to make sure no one is left behind," Ms Lane-Fox stated.

Julian David, Director General of Intellect, said the announcement is a "much-needed boost" for those businesses who are crying out for access to better broadband as a route to growth.

The coalition's plans will also enable new businesses to spring-up across the country, creating jobs and wealth, he added.

While Pamela Learmonth, Chief Executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group CEO, said that removing the bureaucratic boulders from the broadband road ahead "is most welcome news".

"The task ahead is to capitalise on these measures to boost broadband deployment for the benefit of UK consumers," she added.

However, a spokesperson for the Local Government Association said that decisions on where to place broadband infrastructure must consider the impact on local environments rather than simply suit the convenience of companies and their engineers.

"Rushed and unnecessary road works to lay cables also risk costing council tax payers a fortune in repairs and, even when done properly, shorten the life of the roads," they claimed.

"The drive to meet broadband targets shouldn’t force poorly thought out knee-jerk measures that spoil local environments and needlessly damage roads. Government needs to encourage providers to work together to make better use of existing ducts and poles, rather than duplicating infrastructure."

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