High-speed broadband developments can provide a major boost for businesses in Wales, a leading industry body has claimed.
Simon Evans, spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales, said the emergence of the internet and the potential this holds for entrepreneurship is enormous.
"The low set-up costs and instant access to the global marketplace make this revolution particularly suited to small businesses, especially in rural areas," he told the Western Mail.
However, Mr Evans said that companies, particularly in the Welsh countryside, are being let down by poor infrastructure and slow broadband speeds.
"Broadband is not an added luxury but an essential utility such as water and electricity," he added.
Mr Evans said it is important that Wales is not left behind as high-speed broadband is rolled out across the UK.
The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales has previously raised concerns about the lack of broadband coverage in rural parts of the principality, and the growing digital divide in the UK.