Consumers and businesses in Aberdeen and Inverness are currently faced with far inferior broadband speeds than those in cities further south, it has been reported.
According to the Press and Journal, average connection speeds are just 3.3Mb and 3.8Mb respectively, compared to the 7.5Mb average in Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Across Scotland as a whole, the average broadband connection speed is reported to be 6.27Mb, just below the UK average of 6.93Mb.
Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, told the news provider: "The internet should be a great leveller for companies here and allow them to compete globally.
"Historically, we have been isolated by things like transport. The internet should have got rid of that. Instead, it seems we are now being isolated through technology."
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce said the next Scottish government must take action to improve broadband services in the Highlands and surrounding areas.