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The government needs to ensure 100 per cent of UK homes and businesses have access to broadband services, it has been claimed.

Outlining its wish-list for the upcoming Autumn Statement - which offers insight into the measures set to be included in the Budget 2013 - the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) highlighted the importance of wider broadband coverage.

The lobby group has called for a universal service obligation for a UK broadband provider, which would require it to deliver services nationwide - not merely in towns and cities.

"This will help to get much-needed broadband access into rural areas that current commercial providers don't believe are profitable," the FSB stated.

According to the organisation, a universal service obligation would help ensure businesses in remote areas of Britain are able to grow.

John Walker, National Chairman of the FSB, said the Autumn Statement - to be delivered in Westminster on December 5th - will be "very important" for the Chancellor George Osborne.

"At the half-way point of the Parliament, the government will be judged on its actions. There is no argument that they've had a tough economic backdrop to work with, but small firms are still feeling the pressure, so a clear plan for growth to get them back on track is needed," he stated.

"Small business policymaking has been subject to a range of confusing patchwork approaches that have often had minimal impact on the ground."

Earlier in 2012, FSB research indicated that six in ten rural businesses are suffering with the slow speed of their broadband.

Some 63 per cent of small firms were found to be dissatisfied with the speed of their connection, compared to 48 per cent of businesses in urban areas.

Another 34 per cent expressed concerns about the reliability of their service, while 24 per cent said they were receiving questionable value for money.

Speaking in May, Mr Walker said that many companies in the countryside are still unable to access basic broadband to run their business effectively.

"It shouldn't matter where a business is located. With the technology we have today all firms should be able to trade overseas, throughout the UK, and from town to village," he claimed.

"We are calling on the government to rollout super-fast broadband to rural areas by 2015. The value of this is not in doubt."

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