Campaigners criticise EU broadband cuts header image

A number of campaigners have criticised the EU's decision to cut funding for the development of super-fast broadband.

It is claimed this will prevent homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK from receiving the high-speed internet connection they desperately need.

Brian Condon, a director of the Community Broadband Network, told the Guardian the move is a "giant leap backwards".

He added: "In the UK, broadband policy is being dictated by the big players, which is characterised by two things, incrementalism and centralisation."

Charles Trotman, of the Country Land and Business Association, said the EU's member states will now have to fund broadband improvements themselves and for certain countries this is "highly unlikely".

As part of  wide-reaching budget cuts, the EU plans to reduce funding for the Connecting Europe Facility, which aims to bring super-fast broadband to every EU home, from €9.2 billion (£7.6 billion) to just €1 billion.