Norfolk business owners are backing a council-wide plan to invest in improved broadband internet access in the county.
Business leaders have claimed that they are unable to keep up with the rivals in areas that have much faster broadband connections.
Clarke Willis, Chief Executive Officer of Anglia Farmers, one of the firms calling for next-generation broadband to be installed in the region, told the BBC: "Broadband isn't just a toy... it's a very important business tool."
Meanwhile, David Dukes, Economic Development Manager for Norfolk County Council, claimed that there are thousands of businesses in rural areas that are becoming increasingly dependent on fast internet connections.
"Their operations are being frustrated because of the lack of broadband," he said.
Norfolk County Council is hoping to become one of the beneficiaries of central government funding for improvements to web infrastructure.
The local authority has put in a bid to Broadband Delivery UK - an operational arm of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - for £530 million in infrastructure investment.