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A proposed investigatory powers bill, which will require providers to store the personal data of customers, could push up broadband prices.

That is the verdict of Matthew Hare, the Chief Executive of Gigaclear, who told a Commons select committee that the legislation, which has come to be known as the 'snooper's charter' has not taken into account the large amounts of data generated by an average internet user.

Mr Hare, who chairs the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) with James Blessing, warned the cost of storing a year's worth of communications data for providers could go substantially beyond the £175 million set aside by the government.

He added: “On a typical one gigabit connection we see over 15TB of data per year passing over that connection.

"If you say that a proportion of that is going to be the communications data, it’s going to be the most massive amount of data that you’d be expected to keep in the future.

“The indiscriminate collection of mass data is going to have a massive cost,” he added.

Mr Blessing was then asked by Labour MP Jim Dowd about whether the proposals in their current form were feasible, to which he replied it was “very feasible – with an infinite budget".

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