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Most small businesses in the UK are using non-fibre fixed line ADSL broadband connections, new figures have revealed.

According to telecoms regulator Ofcom, 67 per cent of small businesses are not using fibre broadband.

The watchdog said this is forcing many employees to rely on mobile phones when they are travelling in more remote locations, which are themselves not entirely reliable.

As a result, one in seven small businesses believe inadequate products and services from communications providers are inhibiting their growth.

"The internet could be problematic for some small and medium-sized enterprises," Ofcom said.

"Those with an internet connection were very reliant on it."

Responding to the figures, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) insisted that more needs to be done to tackle connectivity issues among smaller companies.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, commented: "If small businesses are to compete in the new digital economy, they need to be able to get online and have proper access to the mobile services they need."

He stressed that an ambitious universal service obligation (USO), designed to give everyone the right to a decent broadband connection on reasonable request, is "essential to get small businesses connected".

"The USO must also include hard to reach areas to ensure rural businesses have the same level of connectivity," Mr Cherry added.

Ministers have already pledged to implement a new broadband USO that ensures everyone in Britain has a legal right to request minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020.

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