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The government has launched a new £20 million fund designed to bring broadband services to remote parts of the countryside.

A rural community broadband fund will provide finance for localised projects geared at increasing digital participation rates outside of urban areas.

In addition, the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs will make £6 million available to help hill farmers manage their land.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the funding would enable some of the most remote communities in England to bring broadband to their homes and businesses.

"Remote and rural areas have the most to gain from access to broadband but these are the communities currently missing out," he stated.

"The whole of the UK should be able to share in the benefits of broadband and we are determined to make this happen by the end of the parliament."

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, broadband is increasingly important to local enterprises as they bid to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

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