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TalkTalk has said it is fully committed to delivering affordable broadband to rural areas.

In a blog post on the TalkTalk blog, the firm's Communications Director Mark Schmid responded to survey results from Simplifydigital.com that suggested customers in rural areas are being hit by a postcode lottery, paying more for their broadband provision than their city-dwelling counterparts.

In response Mr Schmid said substantial investment means TalkTalk offers good value broadband to rural residents.

The survey, quoted in the Mirror, suggested countryside customers were paying more for their broadband and were experiencing slower speeds than those people paying less.

It identified Liskeard in Cornwall as having the most expensive service in the country, with bills hitting £16.26 a month. People in the village of Hesleden, Tees Valley, are paying £14.70 and internet users in Boston, Lincolnshire, are paying monthly fees of £15.48, the survey claimed.

This is in contrast to users in Fulwood, Sheffield, and Redcar, Cleveland, who are paying just £8.40, with users in Walthamstow, east London, paying £8.67.

Simplifydigital.com said service providers choose to only invest in telephone exchanges where they know they will make a good return on investment.

Charles Ponsonby from the firm was quoted as saying: "To add insult to injury, these 'off-net' services generally offer lower broadband speeds meaning customers are faced with paying more money for slower average broadband speeds."

In response Mr Schmid said TalkTalk's network of more than 2,000 exchanges currently covers more than 85 per cent of the UK population, and there are plans to expand even further, rolling out another 700 exchanges across Britain.

"This substantial investment will mean that more people in rural and urban areas alike will be able enjoy TalkTalk phone and broadband for £6.50 a month," Mr Schmid said.

TalkTalk recently launched a new triple-play SIM-only offer for broadband and home phone subscribers.

Customers can bundle high-speed broadband, unlimited evening and weekend home phone calls, landline calls to mobile numbers, and mobile minutes and text messages.

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