MISSING out on the region's "broadband boost" would lead villages such as Elberton and its rural businesses to fall too far behind, a situation they cannot afford in an already struggling economy.

The Countryside Alliance is urging government not to forsake the thousands living in Internet black spots, who have currently no hope to see their coverage improved, in the name not simply of fairness but of growth.

Elberton is one of many out-of-the way villages which have lost out on the coalition's BDUK scheme to roll out fibre optic broadband across rural areas, including parts of South Gloucestershire, considered unattractive to commercial suppliers.

But Elberton, which was deemed sufficiently appealing to private Internet providers, did not receive any government funding and was instead included in BT's commercial broadband rollout.

Yet, it has emerged that BT's new fibre optic network would stop in Alveston, meaning that the superfast internet signal would not extend as far as their homes and businesses.

The poor broadband speed reaches just 1Mbps in most parts of the village and has affected residents' work and businesses for years.

Brian Banks has gone to extreme lengths to complete tasks most Internet users would not think twice about.

"I had to send my assistant in a car to Bradford upon Avon with a thumb drive containing 3GB of data because I could not send it in fewer than four days according to my computer. And that was assuming no dropouts of service. That was green and efficient."

Interrupted or stop-and-start signal is the most frequent and frustrating issue.

Dr David Grant said: "I often have to make Skype calls as part of my international child health work. More often than most connection is so poor that call is interrupted."

As for Elberton villager Rob Shaw, he said he was "unable to do simple online assessments for work because the connection keeps timing out."

Executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Barney White-Spunner said that now more than ever, out-of-he-way areas were in need of superfast broadband.

"Innovations in digital services mean it has never been more important that rural business and people living in the countryside have access to broadband and good mobile phone signal.

"Broadband is the most important technological innovation to kickstart the rural economy and the government needs to ensure that those living and working in the countryside do not fall behind their urban peers because they cannot access it."