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The UK Government is beginning the task of using its massive public sector spending power to help boost demand for broadband in areas currently not served by affordable high speed Net access.

Regional broadband advisors will try to ensure that public sector procurement of broadband - from schools, local authorities, and health services - is sufficiently coordinated enough to entice broadband providers to roll out services in areas currently deemed commercially unviable.

Or to put it another way, the Government has set up a new unit charged with promoting demand for broadband by aggregating public sector procurement, a view spelled out in a Government action plan published in February 2001.

According to the new e-commerce minister, Stephen Timms: "There are still too many people, especially in rural areas, who cannot access affordable broadband.

"The new broadband unit and its network of advisors will use the public sector’s spending power to boost availability and take-up in these unconnected areas."

Let's hope they get a bloody move on. ®

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