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"A good dose of reality" is needed over the benefits to be delivered by super-fast broadband in the short to medium term, it has been claimed.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said that while the gains from significantly faster connectivity will "be sizeable over time", there are a number of constraints at present which will limit its economic value.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, the internet could account for 13 per cent of UK gross domestic product by 2015.

But the EIU is less convinced about the prospect of an immediate economic boost, due to the "numerous" obstacles in place.

The unit said there are clear barriers to using even the existing technology capabilities to good effect, before super-fast networks are even considered.

These include a shortage of skills and resistance to change, the EIU added.

"In this context, some of the expectations about the early returns from super-fast broadband rollout in the UK may be overstated," it said.

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