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A leading business body has claimed that government funding should be used to provide broadband services in rural areas.

The Country and Land Association (CLA) is backing the European Commission's new guidelines on state investment for web services, which propose that state funding should be used to extend coverage in locations where private companies do not intend to roll out broadband.

According to Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, president of the body, it has campaigned hard over the issue in the past few months and said that it knows there are funds available.

He added: "This, together with initiatives such as BT's Broadband Enabling Technology (BET) - which will bring broadband much further into rural areas - could at last show results."

It was recently reported by the News & Star that Wigton in Cumbria is just one of ten places chosen to take part in the next trials of BET, which allows broadband to be provided over longer distances from exchanges.

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