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Poor broadband connections are stunting social media use in rural areas, it has been claimed.

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) says the lack of suitable connections makes it nigh on impossible for rural businesses and communities to communicate with each other on social networks.

The association attended this week's Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, north Yorkshire, to give advice to farmers and rural residents and businesses on the world of social networking.

CLA President William Worsley said: "Ofcom's first interactive broadband map published last week shows that more than 16 per cent of homes in Yorkshire are unable to receive the government's benchmark of two megabits per second.

"Residents and businesses here, along with many other rural communities across the UK, are constrained in the use of social media."

Mr Worsley added that the broadband divide that already exists between rural and urban areas will inevitably widen if rural areas cannot benefit from networks like Twitter and Facebook.

A recent report by the Wales Office shows that a lack of decent broadband and 'not-spots' are among the main frustrations for people and businesses in rural Wales.

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