A fifth of British homes are still suffering from slow broadband speeds - despite much of the country enjoying its fastest ever internet surfing.
According to research from comparison service uSwitch, the average broadband speed in the UK is now 7.84Mbps, a rise of 16% in a year.
That's a similar number to the average speed revealed by communications regulator Ofcom last week, which put it at 7.6Mbps.
But the survey also found a postcode lottery for many with one in five homes stuck in the slow lane on less than 2Mbps and three in 10 receiving under 3Mbps.
Worryingly, cities in Scotland have seen an overall decline in their broadband speeds say uSwitch while Milton Keynes has soared to 10.6Mbps from 6.64 thanks to trials of super-fast fibre technology in the area.
London topped the list of fastest places in the past six months with an average of 13.262Mbps ahead of Belfast and Liverpool while the slowest was Norwich at 5.336, closely followed by Aberdeen and York.
Julia Stent, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: "Great strides are being made across the country to bring broadband infrastructure up to speed, but too many, especially in rural areas, are still stuck in the slow lane.
"While people are demanding and expecting a fast service to cope with increased surfing and downloading, especially in the light of increased TV streaming services such as YouView, many are still receiving a sub-standard service that is frustratingly slow."
She added: "The ongoing concern is that there is clearly a divide between the service being received by people in the South East of England and by those in Scotland. We cannot afford to see a 'speed-gap' develop between the north and south, or between England and Scotland.
"However, the frustration for many consumers is that they are missing out on a faster service because they're in the dark about their speed and what's available to them. Checking your speed, and the speeds in your area, could help you find a better deal and move into the fast lane."
Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at Broadbandchoices.co.uk believes slow broadband speeds will hold back society.
He explained: "Broadband has become an essential utility and a slow or non-existent connection can have a hugely negative impact on the quality of life experienced by these households.
"Speeds of 3Mb or less leave an entire chunk of the population struggling to enjoy smooth viewing through licence-payer services such as BBC iPlayer."
He added: "A 16% increase in average speeds is likely to be due to the roll out of BT Infinity and Virgin Media's fibre optic network. It is great news for consumers but the regional postcode lottery that has emerged is troubling.
"This confirms what we already knew: there is a 'digital upperclass' in Britain whilst customers in semi-rural and rural areas are left behind in digital poverty."
The Government is already investing in boosting broadband infrastructure across the UK, investing £150million to create "super-connected cities" throughout the country.
It has set up a specific department within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport called Broadband Delivery UK to manage funding and investment to fulfil its promise of creating the "best super fast broadband network in Europe by 2015".
Back in March it revealed the 10 initial cities to benefit: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds & Bradford, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Each will try to develop ultrafast networks with minimum download speeds of at least 80Mbps as well as large areas of public Wi-Fi connectivity.
The overall aim is to bring superfast broadband to at least 90% of premises across the UK with an interactive UK Fixed Broadband Map [http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/] - last updated in 2011 - showing how each region compares. There is also a Google Map [http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=202405357373084260711.0004c0a24c8574593fb79&msa=0] giving colour-coded details of each area's plans for their own local broadband rollout.
One potential boost for suffering rural areas came yesterday however, when Ofcom announced the rules for its auction of new 4G mobile phone networks. Many believe this technology could plug the gap and bring faster broadband to these more isolated places.
The 4G connectivity allows for superfast speeds similar to fixed line broadband but transmitted wirelessly over the air and it is hoped that it will at least ensure speeds of 2Mbps in every inch of Britain. However, even at such a speed it would still take 100 minutes to download an HD movie and 4G services will not launch until late next year.
Matthew Howett, of analysts Ovum, said: "Given the insatiable appetite for data from consumers in the UK, we can be quite certain that it will be a hotly contested auction with all players keen to ensure they get adequate spectrum to support further growth in demand."
Top 10 fastest broadband cities/towns in the UK: January - June 2012
Town/City; Average Download Speed (Mbps)
Top 10 slowest broadband cities/towns in the UK: January - June 2012
Town/City; Average Download Speed (Mbps)