BBC research has revealed that 3 million homes in the UK have access to broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps and that many of those, rather than being in rural areas, are in suburban locations and even streets in major towns.

As part of its "Digital Britain" plans, the government has promised to provide all homes in the UK with speeds of at least 2Mbps by 2012. Currently under 1% of homes in the UK can't get any broadband at all.

Broadband websites SamKnows and ThinkBroadband have released maps that show where the homes are that the government needs to connect to faster broadband.

As as example Basingstoke is highlighted as an area where 50% of telephone lines are more than 6 kilometres from the exchange (less then 4 is optimal), while in Hampshire a quarter of postcodes get less than 1Mbps.

"We had assumed that these notspots were in remote parts of the countryside. That may be where the most vocal campaigners are but there is a high incident of them in commuter belts", said Alex Salter, co-founder SamKnows.