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Openreach's Chief Executive was shocked to see firsthand the problems that slow broadband connections are causing for rural communities.

Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire and former Cabinet minister, invited Clive Selley to his constituency to meet with local businesses affected by poor connectivity, the Shropshire Star reports

Mr Paterson arranged the meeting as more and more farms in the area are diversifying and a growing number of people are setting up and running businesses at home.

However, he is concerned that their growth prospects are limited because they are struggling with slow broadband connections.

"It was interesting to see how shocked the head of Openreach was to hear of so many problems," Mr Paterson commented.

Among the people Mr Selley met was Jeremy Rose of business telecommunications solutions provider Ocean Telecom.

"He was able to explain how the vast majority of concerns from his customers in Shropshire were over lack of a mobile signal," said Mr Paterson.

The Openreach boss also met with John McGuinness, who runs a home-based health and safety practice that has customers all over the country.

Mr Paterson stressed that since he runs a national business, he should not be "let down by broadband and phone signal".

"He is not living in an isolated part of the countryside; he is only a mile or so outside Market Drayton," he said.

Mr Paterson added that Mr Selley has pledged to try to find solutions to improve connectivity in rural locations.

The visit came shortly after the NFU encouraged Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to provide incentives in his Budget speech on March 8th for companies to focus on connecting farmers and rural communities.

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