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The government needs to do more to improve broadband coverage in the most remote rural areas of the UK.

That is the verdict of the NFU, which claims not enough is being done to reach out to the rural community, despite a proposed discounted satellite broadband scheme under the universal service obligation.

The scheme hopes to provide superfast coverage to 95% of premises by 2017, but vouchers are currently only available online.

NFU vice-president Guy Smith said he was unconvinced the rollout would meet its target of reaching out to 300,000 of the most remote homes and businesses with at least 2 Mbps of broadband connectivity.

He said: “We understand the Welsh government has just announced a far more generous voucher scheme, which is easier to qualify for, and which allows access to a number of broadband technologies.”

Mr Smith used the example of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which suffered problems due to limited broadband speeds earlier this year, as an example of how the government's minimum offering is outdated.  

“The recent failure of the Basic Payment Scheme, which was originally only available online, also highlighted that 2 Mbps as a minimum scheme is outdated and significant investment is rural broadband is needed,” he added.

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