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The Government should begin thinking about the future of broadband in the UK before committing to "clear milestones" that should be reached before 2010.

So says the third annual report from the Government's advisory body, The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), which reckons that while "significant progress [has been] made to date...there is no room for complacency as the challenge of delivering next generation broadband comes into view."

The BSG highlights a number of areas it reckons are important to the UK's broadband sector.

For instance, it wants to see the creation of "a thriving and competitive content services and applications sector in the UK - exploiting and optimising the potential of UK talent for creative media in a pro-competitive way".

It also wants to investment encouraged in "next generation" broadband infrastructures and services "ahead of the demand curve" and reckons Government has a critical role in creating the right investment climate for technological development.

Said BSG chief exec Antony Walker in a statement: "It's clear that broadband has taken off - people are seeing real benefits every day. The real challenge is to meet the growing expectations of both consumers and businesses as they adopt, adapt and absorb broadband into their daily lives and to make sure that we build a thriving and sustainable broadband market in the UK - this needs a new target for the next phase beyond 2005."

According to the Guardian the Government is already thinking hard about these milestones and could even make them "election promises" by including them in its next manifesto.

Last month, the BSG was nominated for an "Internet Villain" industry award "for being beset by a minority of interests, achieving little with their Government funding and not appropriately representing the true broadband industry". ®

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