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The Institute of Directors (IoD) has called on the government to commit to switching off copper-based broadband networks by 2025 or soon after.

According to the body, switching to full-fibre technology would offer multiple benefits for businesses.

For instance, the IoD said more people would be able to work from home at a time when businesses "should be looking to enable employees to work flexibly".

However, the group said British firms are currently "paying the price for the neglect of full-fibre connectivity, as the UK is lagging behind other countries when it comes to the availability of this technology.

"Where you live should not determine your ability to work, or even start a business, with flexibility," the IoD stated.

"The internet should be creating a more level playing field for businesses regardless of location, but uneven broadband coverage means the opposite is true."

The IoD added that this is proving to be a particularly big problem in rural areas, with poor connections leading to "lost business and missed opportunities".

Ministers have pledged to ensure 15 million premises have access to full-fibre broadband technology by 2025, with a view to achieving universal full-fibre coverage by 2033.

As part of this effort, the government has called for full-fibre broadband to be installed in all new-build homes.

The IoD's call comes after a survey by CityFibre found that 78 per cent of Britons feel slowed down and frustrated by their internet connection, with young people and homeworkers feeling most aggrieved.

Some 56 per cent of respondents stated that their current internet connection means they cannot work from home as often as they would like.

However, 36 per cent said they believe being able to work from home would give them a better work-life balance, while 21 per cent said it could improve their work performance.

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