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A new report has shed further light on the UK's broadband not-spots – identifying the areas which are in greatest need of network investment.

Research conducted by the Labour Party has revealed that in 18 parliamentary constituencies, more than half of the population are receiving inadequate broadband speeds.

The worst area was found to be Carlisle, where 64.7 per cent of residents – some 26,000 people – continue to be frustrated by limited downloading capabilities.

In several other constituencies, more than half of the local population are still missing out on high-speed web services, the study showed.

The next-worst performing areas were found to be West Tyrone (58 per cent), Midlothian (57.6 per cent), Mid Ulster (56.4 per cent), Carmarthen East (56.2 per cent) and South Derbyshire (55.7 per cent).

Reflecting on the survey, Electric Pig writer James Holland noted how "incredibly important" it is to have fast broadband in the digital age.

He described high-speed web services as being "the third utility", claiming that connectivity levels are starting to have a real impact on where people choose to live.

"People rely on the internet so much," Mr Holland stated. "They will research the speed they can get at an address before making any decisions."

The government is taking measures to address the problem of inadequate broadband speeds, through its £530 million broadband fund.

Broadband Delivery UK, the body charged with distributing the money to community network projects, is set to announce which areas will share the first £50 million in funding on May 27th.

Broadband provider BT is also spending £2.5 billion of its own capital investing in infrastructure upgrades around the UK.

The firm has set itself a target of providing high-speed broadband to two-thirds of the UK population by 2015, but this means that many households will be unlikely to benefit from the firm's fibre network without additional public funding.

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