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Broadband needed to 'revitalise rural economies'
Broadband access is needed for rural economies and to participate in society, it is claimed.Improved high-speed broadband could reinvigorate rural economies and bring a range of "social and economic benefits" to all sectors of the population.
Boosting the efficiency of small businesses is just one area where the roll-out of broadband can make a difference in the UK, according to one industry body.
The Communications Consumer Panel, an independent advisory body, believes that superfast broadband, such as fibre-optic technology, will need to cover the entire country to allow people to fully participate in society.
A spokesperson for the body said that broadband access can make strides to improve businesses by allowing people to work more flexibly and assist old people by helping them gain access to essential services more easily.
The spokesperson said that although the internet had already brought about a revolution, "the ultimate test of success will be whether consumers can carry out essential online activities that are necessary to participate fully in society in a reliable and consistent way".
Coalition government plans to ensure the rapid roll-out of broadband to rural areas include using public money.
The Communications Consumer Panel has called for the government to keep pace with the expected growing demand over the next few years.