Access to broadband internet is one of the most important infrastructure issues facing the UK's small businesses, according to new research.
A study by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) found access to effective broadband services was a concern for 80 per cent of respondents.
Energy costs and supply, local banking services and road infrastructure were also named as small business infrastructure priorities.
Broadband access was cited by businesses as a particular problem in rural areas.
In a list of policy recommendations, the FPB called on the government to ensure that firms should not be legally required to use services that are increasingly provided via the web, such as VAT filing, until high speed broadband has been rolled out across the country.
Super-fast broadband has frequently been named as the tool that will help businesses grow, but there are concerns that some companies, especially those in rural locations, will miss out when it comes to advanced broadband.
However, the government has committed £530 million for broadband in rural areas as part of its national broadband upgrade.