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New broadband boxes could be camouflaged in order to 'blend in' with the street, it has been suggested.

The government is investing £680 million in super-fast broadband and, in order to speed up the initiative, it has relaxed planning rules to make it easier for firms to install broadband cabinets on streets.

But there are concerns the cabinets, which do not need planning permission, could be unsightly.

Government culture spokesman Viscount Younger said: "There are plans afoot to camouflage these street containers. They will not be on every street corner. They will be on occasional streets, sited very discreetly."

He said that in some cases, overhead cables would be used to house stations within church steeples to avoid setting up unnecessary cabinets.

However, one broadband provider, BT Openreach, told it had no general plan to disguise street cabinets, although confirmed it did have the capacity to do it.

An Openreach spokesperson told the website: "We make every effort to site new fibre cabinets in a sensitive manner, in co-operation with the local authority, whilst still ensuring that residents stand to benefit from the next generation of broadband technology."

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