The Italian record industry has expressed its concern about the government's decision to block €800 million ($1.2 billion) in funding that had been destined for the development of broadband networks.

The block is part of a series of spending cuts announced last week.

"While most industrialised countries are concentrating on a strategy for networks and, consequently, content, Italy is missing the most important train for the development of the digital economy," said Enzo Mazza, president of Italy's major label representative body FIMI, in a statement.

"When it comes to the development of online business models, music is currently the leading sector, but cinema, print publishing and TV are following suit. Blocking the funds also means strangling at birth the development potential of content which will be fundamental for the new generation."