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The Labour Party believes half of the government's £150 million Urban Broadband Fund should be reallocated.

Shadow Culture Minister Helen Goodman argued that money set aside for the super-connected cities programme could be better spent on rural network development and digital inclusion schemes.

"The previous Labour government had a target of ensuring that everybody had 2Mb by 2012," she stated.

"The government abandoned that target and probably will not achieve it until 2016."

Ms Goodman said that, at the moment, 2.6 million households - mainly in rural areas - have no possibility of accessing broadband.

In addition, she claimed there are 16 million people in the UK who lack basic digital skills.

She said a Labour government would invest £75 million from the Urban Broadband Fund ensuring people are able to get online and perform "basic tasks" like sending an email.

Back in March, Virgin Media Chief Executive Neil Berkett proposed that a significant proportion of the £150 million fund should be used to improve digital skills within UK business.

In an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne, he claimed the government has a "huge opportunity" to drive growth within the world of enterprise - particularly where small and medium-sized businesses are concerned.

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