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Government launches broadband strategy

LONDON - The UK government has announced a series of measures designed to boost the uptake of broadband services across the country on the back of a £3m marketing campaign raising awareness about the government's online strategy.

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E-commerce minister Douglas Alexander has set out a range of measures to advance broadband Britain and urge businesses to take up government tax breaks which "could cut more than £50 off a typical £260 broadband connection bill", according to a government statement.

The announcement comes as Alexander responds to the first report by the Broadband Stakeholder's Group, which has been set up to advise the government on what needs to be done to roll out broadband services across the UK.

The government's new broadband strategy aims to increase competition among providers of high-speed internet services.

It will encourage the use of broadband infrastructure and service markets; clarify a series of existing tax measures, which encourage working from home and stimulate new broadband and content applications; boosting the use of broadband services; and encouraging the rollout of broadband services in rural areas.

Alexander said: "These initiatives map out a route forward for the UK's broadband industry. The UK is one of the world leaders in internet and e-commerce. This strategy will help us to build on this success for the broadband sector.

"Too many people in this sector don't realise that there are a number of relevant initiatives including tax relief on establishing and maintaining broadband connections, that also apply to employers paying for connections at employee's homes."

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