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Rural areas should not be left out of plans to develop a next-generation broadband network in the UK, according to the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC).

The countryside watchdog's chairman Stuart Burgess has voiced his concerns that firms in more remote parts of the country could suffer if they are not included in plans for a super-fast broadband internet network.

Dr Burgess was commenting in the wake of Potters Leisure Resort chairman Brian Potter's comments to the Eastern Daily Press, in which he called for the telecoms industry to improve broadband access in rural blackspots.

He said: "The future of broadband in rural communities is a serious issue. Ensuring they are not left out of plans for future generation broadband is critical.

"There are also important economic factors at play - the difficulty faced by Potter's Leisure Resort illustrates very graphically the direct impact on the economy if suitable broadband isn't available in rural areas."

Mr Potter says that his holiday site in Hopton-on-Sea, East Anglia, is receiving broadband speeds of just over 0.5Mb through a connection advertising speeds of up to 8Mb.

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