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Over a million rural households could be waiting up to three years to get minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps, Ofcom believes.

According to the telecoms industry regulator, this is the minimum speed required by a typical household with multiple web-enabled devices, such as tablets, smartphones and smart TVs.

However, a new report from Ofcom states that 1.5 million premises in rural areas are currently unable to receive these speeds and that it could be up to three years before the situation improves.

This means that 48 per cent of households in the British countryside will be forced to struggle with unacceptably slow connection speeds until 2019.

"While coverage of broadband in rural areas and the nations has improved, it still lags behind the UK as a whole," Ofcom said.

However, the regulator pointed out that government programmes, such as the ones being administered by Broadband Delivery UK, are helping to tackle the issue of poor broadband coverage, especially in rural locations. 

"We would expect to see further improvements in rural broadband availability over the coming two to three years," Ofcom stated.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England responded to the report by saying it is "disgraceful" that countryside communities are still struggling with "superslow" broadband.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Chief Executive Shaun Spiers stated that the government has made the provision of an adequate broadband service "a major plank" of its rural policy.

However, he said it needs to do much more to ensure "rural areas do not get left behind".

Ofcom believes one key reason for poor broadband coverage in countryside locations is the distance between the premises and the exchange.

This, it said, can affect the quality of the service received and especially the speed of a person's connection.

The regulator stated that consumers in less densely populated areas are more likely to live further away from the exchange, hence why these people often receive lower broadband speeds.

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