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The government should scrap the HS2 rail scheme and spend the money on other infrastructure projects, such as a full-fibre rollout, it has been suggested.

Think-tank the New Economics Foundation has raised concerns about the £33 billion high-speed rail initiative, warning that it will not offer good value for money.

As reported by, the body has called for £5.5 billion to be spent on fibre-to-the-premises broadband for homes and businesses in rural areas.

"The need for increased digital connectivity will only increase in the coming decades," the New Economics Foundation stated.

"Meanwhile, current broadband investment plans do little to alleviate the data pinch-points created by soon-to-be outdated internet connections."

The think-tank said to pave the way for future-proofed internet connectivity for all, the government should provide "a coherent up-front funding mechanism for the provision of a to-the-door fibre-optic broadband infrastructure".

"The cost of providing fibre-optic connectivity to every house in the UK has been estimated to be at least £15 billion, however," it stated.

"So while our alternative investment package would clearly not contain the full amount necessary to reach every UK home, it could connect most homes in the core cities."

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