Rural communities and farm businesses are being damaged by the lack of rural broadband availability, according to the Country Land and Business Association.

Henry Cotterell, CLA vice-president, said rural areas were being “left behind” as internet companies fought to provide urban areas with ever-faster internet connections.

As a result rural businesses were losing out while farmers who were expected fill official forms in online were left struggling.

“The government has a responsibility to ensure the same level of broadband is available to everyone,” Mr Cotterell said.

“The bottom line is that businesses based in the countryside cannot compete with their urban counterparts, which is holding back the rural economy.”

Charles Trotman, CLA head of rural business development, urged the government to take action to provide rural areas with affordable and effective broadband services.

US President Obama has announced that all 50 states will be broadband-enabled and Australia recently announced similar plans,” he said.

“Both countries face projects of enormous scale owing to their large size and sparsely-populated areas.

“Britain need not be left behind. Logistically, it should be a simpler task for a small, densely populated country such as this.”