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Broadband providers will be invited to a government summit to discuss how rural areas can be included in the Digital Britain vision.

New Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman says high-speed internet access for the countryside will be made a priority, with both the public and private sector playing a part in improving services.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, she said the coalition government will seek to introduce super-fast broadband in remote areas at the same time as more populated regions.

"A lack of broadband access is restricting the opportunities which exist for young people who live in the countryside," Ms Spelman commented.

"We know, too, this hampers the work of farmers in many areas and isolates many other groups."

She said high-speed broadband will be rolled out nationwide to bring everyone "the same benefits and opportunities of digital technology" irrespective of their location.

The Labour government had planned to fund rural high-speed broadband through a 50p-per-month landline levy, although this policy was dropped at the end of the last parliamentary term.

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