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A new study by telecoms regulator Ofcom has suggested that rural residents are now more likely to have broadband than urban dwellers.

In its new regional communications market report, the watchdog suggests that 59 per cent of rural households in the UK have broadband connections, compared with 57 per cent of urban homes.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "Our report highlights a closing of the geographical digital divide in the UK. Rural households are today as well connected to broadband as their urban neighbours."

It is the first time that rural areas have taken over cities and towns in terms of broadband penetration.

Four years ago, those living in urban areas were more than twice as likely to have access to broadband, the BBC reports.

However, PC Pro has said that the figures paint an inaccurate picture, as people living in the countryside are more likely to live further away from their telephone exchanges, meaning that broadband speeds are likely to be far lower than for those living in a city or town.

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