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Consumers moving to the countryside are increasingly looking for homes in areas where high-speed broadband access is a reality, it has been claimed.

According to Carol Peett, of County Homesearch's West Wales office, "everyone wants fast broadband now".

She said there had been instances of homebuyers rejecting property viewings due to a lack of internet access in that particular area.

"Clients who don't really know their kilobits from their megabits or their ADSL from their wireless broadband nevertheless are beginning to ask for speedy connections," Ms Peett noted.

"Some sections of the country are virtually broadband-free or very patchy and this undoubtedly puts people off."

This is particularly the case among professionals looking to work, or operate a small business from their own home, she added.

Earlier this week, Liberal Democrat election candidate Sue Farrant told the BBC that high-speed broadband is needed to keep rural areas working effectively.

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