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The access to fast broadband is a critical issue for businesses, according to one expert.

Stewart Nicol, chief executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, has told the Inverness Courier that many businesses complain about a "huge gap" between speed promises made by broadband providers and the service actually being delivered.

The expert claims that broadband services in the Highlands region is simply "not keeping up with the pace of change" and businesses are suffering as a result.

He added these problems are hitting all businesses and a lack of broadband access in not "only issues for hi-tech companies operating in niche markets".

Mr Nicol stated: "I am also aware that some members have to travel significant distances to locations they know have adequate and secure broadband capability. Connection capacity and speed are key requirements.

"Both are essential to allow Highland firms to compete effectively in today's global economy. Access to appropriate broadband capability is now a critical business issue."

The Scottish Household Survey recently found that around half of households in the country currently do no have broadband access.

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