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A Labour MP's claims that farmers do not need super-fast broadband and providers should focus their attentions on urban regions have caused outrage.

Graham Jones, MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn, suggested public funding for faster broadband in rural Lancashire could be put to better use elsewhere, adding that it is hard to see how investment in rural broadband will boost jobs.

However, the Countryside Alliance described the comments as criminal.

"He has criminally missed the point of these plans," commented the group's Head of Policy Sarah Lee.

"People need to access more services online, especially critical government services; businesses need the internet for growth and much of everyday communication now occurs online.

"The plain fact is that demand for broadband is going to grow and we need communication networks that are going to not only meet the need now, but in the future."

Lancashire County Council and Lancashire LEP has committed to spending £32 million on improving super-fast broadband in rural areas.

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