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PHILLIP HAMMOND

Broadband investment has been highlighted as a priority in this week's Budget.

The government described full-fibre as the "gold standard for fast and reliable broadband".

As a result, it plans to launch a £190 million Challenge Fund that allows local areas throughout the UK to bid for money to help speed up full-fibre rollouts by industry.

A Budget policy document states that children in 100 schools around the country will be among the first to benefit, while a pilot will be carried out in the East Midlands in early 2018.

The government also announced that £385 million has been committed to projects to develop next generation 5G mobile and full-fibre broadband networks.

Speaking in his keynote Budget address this week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: "By continuing to invest in Britain’s infrastructure, skills and R&D we will ensure the recovery in productivity growth that is the key to delivering our vision of a stronger, fairer, more balanced economy and the assurance to the next generation of their economic security."

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