Broadband in the UK is still below the standard needed for the smooth running of many net-based applications, according to new research.
A worldwide survey carried out by Oxford University and Cisco found that Britain is one of several industrialised nations - including Canada, Italy, Spain and Australia - which is being out-performed by some emerging nations.
Applications such as file sharing and watching videos posted on YouTube are said to be among the internet activities which are harder for web users in countries like Britain.
Alistair Nicholson of the University of Oxford's Said Business School said the problem could have consequences that reached further than simply web applications.
He told the Telegraph: "Because the study also found significant correlation between a nation's broadband quality and its advancement as a knowledge economy, policy makers may need to consider how to create an environment to improve key broadband performance parameters in the future."