The government is increasing its investment in the rollout of super-fast broadband services in the UK countryside.
Local projects will now receive additional funding from a £250 million pot, with public funds set to be made available to connect the hardest-to-reach locations.
This funding is in addition to the £1.2 billion already invested by central and local governments in the deployment of next-generation services.
It will help ensure the government meets its target of 95 per cent super-fast broadband coverage by 2017.
According to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the current Superfast Britain initiative will deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested.
As well as improving the productivity of broadband-enabled firms, faster broadband is expected to create 56,000 new jobs by 2024 and provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller commented that super-fast broadband "will benefit everyone" - whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films.
"We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband," she stated.
"The extra £250 million we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane."
Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson added that "nothing will have a more spectacular effect on the rural economy than the rollout of super-fast broadband".
"A decent broadband connection has the power to transform people’s lives, creating more rural jobs and a fairer society," he stated.
In early 2014, more than 10,000 UK homes and businesses are gaining access to super-fast broadband every week.
The government expects this figure will rise to 40,000 per week by summer this year.