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The government has been urged to make sure rural homes and businesses are not left behind as broadband services evolve.

This week, the government announced that its goal of extending superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017 has been achieved.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, more than 19 out of 20 homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to speeds of at least 24Mbps.

This, it stated, is more than twice the speed Ofcom says is required by a typical family home.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has hailed this an "important milestone" in the delivery of superfast broadband across the UK.

However, the organisation has stressed that future infrastructure upgrades in rural locations must align with those in major towns and cities.

"It is not just imperative to get rural homes and businesses connected in the first place, but also to ensure the service they receive keeps pace with demand and technological change," said CLA President Tim Breitmeyer.

Furthermore, he noted that despite the success of the government's superfast broadband rollout, "significant areas" are still without a fast connection, which he said is "critical" for many rural businesses.

Mr Breitmeyer acknowledged that getting connections to rural homes and businesses is "complex and expensive". However, he said it is a crucial for creating a fair and balanced economy.

This, he argued, is why the government's Universal Service Obligation (USO), which will give everyone in Britain the legal right to request minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020, is important for the whole country and not just rural areas.

Mr Breitmeyer added that the USO should be enacted in law "without delay" and "constantly updated to end the digital divide that has held back our economy for too long".

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