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Despite spending much of their time in the fields or the cattle yard, even farmers see broadband as essential to their business operations, it has been claimed.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Shropshire landowner Steve Roberts explained that each of his cattle requires a passport if it is to be moved to an abattoir.

And with applications now required to be made online, a fast and reliable broadband connection is a must, he stated.

Mr Roberts added that he is also, as a business owner, required to file VAT returns over the internet.

He commented: "We may be farmers but we do a lot of our work online.

"Applying for cattle passports for every single animal will take forever with a dial-up connection."

Earlier this month, MP Philip Dunne urged both the public and private sectors to invest in the UK's rural broadband infrastructure, as reported by the Ludlow Advertiser.

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