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Broadband consumers in rural areas will be equipped with faster broadband speeds, if a Cheshire MP has his way.

Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien, the current member for Eddisbury, reiterated his party's pledge to deliver nationwide high-speed broadband by 2017.

He told the Chester Chronicle that a number of constituents had contacted him to express concern about broadband access and speeds in the countryside.

Mr O'Brien commented: "A large number of people in our area, rural businesses and home workers, are thoroughly fed up because they are unable to access reliable broadband services which are sufficiently fast."

He claimed that the possibility of laying broadband cables in sewers should be investigated, while fibre-optic cables could also replace overhead copper wires to boost download speeds.

"It is important that rural businesses in our area can maximise the potential that high speed broadband can offer their enterprises and compete with their urban counterparts on a level playing field," Mr O'Brien added.

Last week, the Conservative Party vowed to provide 100Mb broadband to the majority of homes by 2017 if it is returned to government at the next general election.

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