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Business group calls for superfast broadband to ‘revitalise rural firms’

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Government to give rural firms access to superfast broadband by 2015, in a bid to revitalise the rural economy.

According to the FSB’s latest survey, six in ten rural firms are suffering as a result of slow broadband speeds.

63% of small firms in rural areas reported that they were not satisfied with their broadband connection speed. This compared with 48% of businesses in urban areas.

Although the Government has announced the launch of 10 ‘super-connected’ cities by 2015, the FSB believes that this will serve to further widen the digital divide, particularly as many rural businesses in isolated areas are reliant on the internet.

John Walker, FSB National Chairman, said, ‘These figures show that many rural firms are still unable to access basic broadband to run their business effectively. It shouldn’t matter where a business is located. With the technology we have today all firms should be able to trade overseas, throughout the UK, and from town to village’.