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The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has called on the government to do more to boost 4G mobile coverage in rural areas.

According to the latest figures from Ofcom, eight in ten people living in the countryside do not currently have access to 4G mobile coverage.

Mark Bridgeman, Deputy President of the CLA, said this is "ridiculous" and urged ministers and regulators to address the issue.

"The existing target for mobile coverage is pathetically unambitious and as of January there will be no target at all," he commented.

"These figures are an indictment of the weak position the government and Ofcom have taken with the industry."

Mr Bridgeman therefore urged them to look again at how the industry is being held to account for its performance on rural coverage.

He insisted that new, stretching and legally-binding targets must be put in place that match the CLA's "ambition for the modern economy".

"We shall be seeking answers from the government and the regulator and asking MPs to look at the issue in detail," Mr Bridgeman added.

Ofcom statistics indicate that 1.1 million homes and offices across the UK are currently unable to get broadband speeds that meet their typical needs.

The watchdog noted that this problem is particularly acute in rural areas, where 17 per cent of premises are currently without adequate broadband services, compared with two per cent in urban locations.

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