As many as 13 per cent of UK homes and businesses cannot access broadband speeds higher than 2Mb, a new study has indicated.
Research conducted by Point Topic found that despite continued investment from network operators and the government, "stubborn holes" in the deployment and take-up of broadband services remain.
The firm - which conducted a comparative study looking at the number of broadband lines it expects to see within an area - found evidence of uneven adoption across the UK.
Point Topic reported a notable sway towards the south of England, where users have a much higher propensity to take-up broadband than the rest of the UK.
Oliver Johnson, Chief Executive of Point Topic, said the impact of lower broadband take-up in the north would only be expected to add to the "general divide in things like health conditions and earnings between the north and south of England".
However, he claimed that "there is light at the end of the tunnel" for UK broadband customers, with a number of localised broadband infrastructure projects in the pipeline.
Mr Johnson said some very active local authorities and a number of "spectacularly committed" smaller organisations are doing what they can to face the challenges in place.
"Sharing information, driving interest and stimulating demand are core to the success of any implementation programme in many councils," he stated.
However, Mr Johnson does not believe these best efforts will be enough for the UK to achieve its stated goal of 2Mb for all and ‘the best broadband in Europe’ by 2015.
“There are still going to be coverage gaps if you analyse the plans to date," he stated.
"There are currently 3.7 million premises – residential and business – outside the 2Mb fixed footprint and we are projecting more than two and a half million still outside the reach of super-fast broadband in 2016."
Mr Johnson said it is "the same old story", where commercial deployment is not a possibility there are problems getting the promised coverage to the consumer.