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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 10:25 GMT
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The UK is falling behind other countries in the push for ultra-fast broadband based on networks capable of delivering speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Concern that the UK is losing out is driving a new push within the country for the issue to be addressed.

The old copper-based voice network was never designed to carry data and, while BT is convinced that there is more bandwidth to be squeezed out of it, others are less certain.

But with a nationwide fibre network estimated to cost around 15bn, there is going to be a lot of talk about the wisdom of committing to such costs without being absolutely sure that there is a need for such an infrastructure.

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In Australia the issue of next-generation broadband played a big part in the recent election campaign and while it is yet to hit the headlines in the UK it is slowly creeping up the political agenda.

Last week Stephen Timms, Minister for competitiveness, hosted a summit for the key industry players to bash out the main issues inovled in rolling out next generation networks.

Among the issues up for debate are questions over who will pay for such a network, how to make sure that any new network remains as competitive as the current broadband market, whether people even need higher speeds and whether they are prepared to pay a premium for it?

These are questions that the BBC News website will also be grappling with in a series of features about broaderband Britain to be published in the coming week.

Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group has agreed to look at all of your responses ahead of a report it plans to launch early next year on the social and economic impact of next-generation networks.

He will also be providing a written response on the BBC News website to some of the points raised.

We will not be taking any more comments for this debate. Thank you.

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