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The quality of the UK's broadband infrastructure has been criticised by Business Secretary Greg Clark.

Speaking at the Institute of Directors' annual conference in London, Mr Clark said the time has come for Britain to have an upgrade, so it has "smart and modern connections, physical and electronic".

"We have new infrastructure like Crossrail about to open, but we have roads that are bottlenecked, trains overcrowded and broadband and mobile coverage that is simply unacceptable in 2016," he commented.

Mr Clark insisted that these issues need to be addressed if the UK is to succeed in the future, as roads, rail, broadband and mobile "can connect businesses to their workforce".

The Business Secretary went on to argue that the government cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to determining an industrial strategy.

Indeed, he stressed that the needs in one part of the country can be very different to those in another, whereas policymakers have tended to treat every location "as if they were identical".

"In my view, any successful industrial strategy has to be local," Mr Clark said.

"Governments are fond of quoting national figures - of economic growth, of productivity, of employment. But the truth is economic growth does not exist in the abstract."

Mr Clark's comments could frustrate BT and Virgin Media, which have recently joined forces in an effort to talk up the quality of the UK's broadband infrastructure.

In an advertisement published in national newspapers last week, the two rivals claimed that £15 billion has been invested in broadband technology over the last five years.

The ads also stressed the point that Britain boasts faster average download speeds than France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Speaking to the Telegraph, BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said: "It's important post-Brexit that we don’t talk the country down and that the right climate exists for further investment."

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