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Opinion is split over how the government's broadband universal service obligation (USO) should be funded.

Ministers want to give everybody a right to a good-quality broadband connection on reasonable request.

However, consumers and the broadband industry both have different views over how this measure could be paid for.

According to Ofcom, most public sector stakeholders back the idea of an industry-funded mechanism, while the government also prefers this approach.

However, most industry bodies and many consumer and business groups believe that public funding would be more suitable.

"This preference was for a range of reasons, including the suggestion that the government could make cost savings if more consumers used online public services," Ofcom stated.

"It was also argued that an industry levy could cause market distortions and result in higher retail prices."

Ofcom stated that this could in turn make broadband less affordable for households on low incomes.

The regulator added that regardless of how the USO is funded, consumer groups such as Citizens Advice have said they wish to avoid the measure leading to higher prices across the board.

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