Orkney, followed by Shetland and Highland, have come bottom of a table ranking UK local authority areas by broadband speeds.
Tamworth, Reading and Adur have the fastest connections, according to the research by consumer group Which?
Dundee City is the only Scottish area to have made it into the top 10 for best speeds.
Which? looked at 389 areas in the UK using data from Speed Checker Ltd from January to March 2017.
The research suggested the Orkney Islands had an average test speed of 6.3 Megabits/sec.
There are eight megabits in a megabyte, meaning if you wanted to download a 500MB high definition episode of Eastenders via iPlayer, it would take about 10-and-a-half minutes.
The Shetland Islands achieved a rate of 8.4Mbps and Highland 8.8Mbps.
The Western Isles – Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – had the sixth worst speed with 9.1Mbps, while the Scottish Borders had the 28th slowest speed with 12Mbps.
- Dundee City
Which? said average tests in Orkney, Shetland and Highland fell short of 10Mbps, which is the minimum download speed proposed under the UK government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) that anyone in the UK would be entitled to request.
It is regarded as the speed necessary to meet the typical demands of a family or small business, the consumer advice group said.
But it said there was better news for Dundee City residents who, according to the research, have access to the fastest average download speed (28.7Mbps) in Scotland and the fifth fastest in the UK.
Glasgow and Edinburgh were ranked 193rd and 264th in the table, with speeds of 17.1Mbps and 19.4Mbps.
- Orkney Islands
- Shetland Islands
The table ranking local authorities with the fastest speeds was dominated by English council areas, including Tamworth, Reading, Adur and Enfield in the top four spots.
Luton was in sixth place, followed by North East Lincolnshire, Merton, Elmbridge and Broxbourne.
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: “Far too many households across Scotland are suffering from slow broadband speeds, which can stop you being able to carry out essential daily tasks.
“We are encouraging everyone with broadband to use our speed checker so people can see if they are getting the speeds that they’ve been promised by their provider and find out how to complain if their speed is too slow.
“This will also help to further highlight where problem areas are across the UK, putting pressure on government and providers to help everyone get a good broadband connection.”
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said: “While I recognise progress has been made, these figures reaffirm our fears that the gap in broadband speeds between Orkney and the rest of the UK is growing. This digital divide will only make it harder for Orkney to compete and leaves people with an unacceptable below par service.”
Fergus Ewing, who is the Scottish cabinet secretary for connectivity, said: “The Scottish government is on track to deliver fibre broadband access to at least 95% of premises across Scotland by the end of this year.
“Without our investment, only 66% of premises would have been reached, with as little as 21% coverage across the Highlands and no coverage at all in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
“In partnership with industry, our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme is delivering at pace and having a huge impact. Audit Scotland and Ofcom have reviewed the programme and concluded that we are on track to meet our targets, with more premises than expected able to access superfast speeds.”
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