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TMA NTL has called on business to embrace broadband and communication technology in a bid to beat the economic downturn.

Speaking at TMA 2001 in Brighton this morning NTL Business MD, Mike Wagner, warned that cutting spending on communications could damage the potential for companies to recover once the economy begins to pick-up.

Said Mr Wagner: "We're witnessing exceptionally strained economic conditions, and there can be few industries that have escaped the drive to reduce cost across the board.

"Communications managers are under a huge amount of pressure, but it's vital not to lose sight of the fact that downturns do not last forever, and that they provide opportunities as well as hazards," he said.

Earlier, Stephen Carter, MD and COO of the cableco, picked up on a number of themes that have dominated the conference here at Brighton.

Lamenting the UK's failure to make any real headway in the broadband world he urged Government to intervene and give the sector a boost.

He said that Government should be "very interventionist" suggesting that it could provide positive tax breaks for businesses in the sector.

And he added: "We need to educate people about the benefits of broadband; we need to use it and train for it.

"There is still a big gap for customers trying to understand what broadband is.

"We must increase awareness of the benefits of broadband for consumers and businesses," he said. ®

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