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New funding should be released to aid the rollout of broadband services in rural areas, it has been suggested.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) outlined at the Digital Dales colloquium at the end of last week that communities should be able to access grants to help them get web access.

Charles Trotman, Head of Rural Business Development at the body, said such funding could be key to many firms and residents in the countryside.

"The CLA is lobbying the government to introduce a series of broadband grants for rural areas at parish level," he told BBC News.

"We are currently developing proposals and hope to send them to Stephen Timms [Digital Britain Minister] in the next two to three weeks."

The CLA recently condemned the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee's view that the government's proposed broadband levy would be unfair.

President William Worsley said the body still supports the introduction of the tax.

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