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A new survey conducted by the National Farmer's Union (NFU) has revealed that many rural parts of the UK are still struggling with substandard broadband connections that are hampering the economy in these regions.

Though the study focused on farming business, the organisation said it highlights the issues faced by many homes and businesses in rural parts of the country.

It found that only 16 per cent of respondents have access to a superfast broadband network that offers download speeds of at least 24Mbps. With 73 per cent still relying on slow copper wire rather than fibre to get online.

Meanwhile, more than four out of ten (42 per cent) reported download speeds of 2Mbps or less, far below what the government has defined as the minimum standard for decent broadband.

For eight per cent of respondents, their fixed-line connection is so poor they have to turn to satellite broadband, which is often a more expensive option that still does not offer the same speeds as a good fibre connection.

NFU Vice-President Stuart Roberts commented: "It's vital that government ensures rural businesses have access to the same reliable broadband and mobile connectivity as urban businesses so they can remain productive, competitive and innovative."

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