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A local authority in south-east England is aiming to extend super-fast broadband services to rural areas of its jurisdiction.

West Sussex County Council hopes to bring faster broadband services to the county, and rid the local countryside of internet 'not-spots'.

To support its plans, the council is to survey 2,000 businesses on broadband speed and coverage issues, to follow an identical study conducted among local residents last year.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy, commented that the internet is "vital" for many businesses, particularly those which are run from the home.

"We want to do all we can to enable better broadband coverage in West Sussex," she stated.

"We're asking West Sussex businesses to help us understand which areas are affected by poor internet connection. All survey responses will be used to help persuade internet service providers and network operators to invest in badly needed improvements to the broadband infrastructure."

The coalition government has committed to provide 2Mb broadband nationwide by 2017.

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