The introduction of new high-speed broadband across the UK could create a bandwidth divide between internet users, according to new research.
A study by Gartner claims the divide in broadband services could occur within the next three to five years.
Those in more urbanised areas will receive increased download speeds compared to broadband users in rural areas, who will not have such luxury.
Fernando Elizalde, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: "Ultra broadband will exacerbate the digital divide among different world regions, as well as within countries.
"Governments in countries that lag behind in the deployment of ultra broadband will come under increasing pressure to use public funds to upgrade broadband infrastructure to avoid falling behind."
Recent research by the Fibre-to-the-Home Council Europe found the number of super fast fibre-optic broadband connections across Europe has now surpassed the two million mark.