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British consumers would prefer that local and national authorities prioritise investment in faster broadband connectivity ahead of other infrastructure projects such as improving road and rail networks, a new survey has found.

Research by south-west broadband provider TrueSpeed found almost half of people in the region (46 per cent) believe faster broadband would have a beneficial effect on the local economy, ahead of better public transport links (44 per cent), improved road connections (42 per cent) and installing more electric car charging points (22 per cent).

Almost half of respondents (48 per cent) stated they experience broadband conectivity problems at least once a week, ISPReview.co.uk reports, with a similar number (46 per cent) describing their current home broadband connection as 'average', 'slow', or 'very slow'.

Evan Wienburg, Chief Executive and Co-founder of TrueSpeed, commented: "People in the south-west recognise the myriad ways that better broadband connectivity can kick-start the region’s digital economy, boost productivity, improve work/life balance, and give more of our young people the opportunity to remain in the South West by taking advantage of the resultant boom in jobs."

Survey respondents were enthusiastic about the potential of broadband, with 40 per cent believing it would help firms widen their reach and attract new customers from further afield, while 33 per cent said it would attract more talent to their region.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) even said that faster broadband would help reduce traffic congestion on the roads, thanks to better opportunities for home working.

Indeed, almost two-thirds of people (63 per cent) said that fast broadband capabilities are essential for work, with this rising to more than three-quarters of 25 to 44-year-olds.

TrueSpeed is currently investing £75 million in the south-west to deliver a full fibre network capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps to homes and businesses across rural parts of  Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, with the firm aiming to reach 75,000 premises by 2021.

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