Updated with your comments below main story
New research, commissioned by the BBC has shown that three million homes in the UK have broadband connection speeds of lower than two megabits per seconds.
That's low enough to hamper the experience of playing fast-paced FPS's and other online games that require lag-free gameplay - if you're mostly playing the StarCraft 2 Beta these days, we're guessing this isn't so much of problem.
The thrust of the research is a UK map covered with coloured dots which show regions of the United Kingdom and the level of broadband service they receive. Some areas, like West Wales and much of Northern Ireland are looking at widespread speeds of below 0.5mbs (512kb/s) but the problem is more common than you might think. In fact, large areas of the country are receiving sub-standard speeds, even in urban built up areas.
Above: Red dots show connection speeds of below 0.5Mbps and blue ones a connection speed of below 2Mbps.
Although there is no 'recommended' speed for use of services like PSN and Xbox Live they do advise a broadband connection. Official bodies agree that 'broadband' is defined by a connection speed of anything above half a megabit a second (512kb/s), which many UK internet users are not getting.
What is your experience of playing online games in the UK? Do you live in an area where you struggle to play online games? And US guys, is this a surprise to you - do you get faster speeds? Let us know below in the comments or on ourTwitterorFacebookpages
Check out the'Indicative Geographic spread of Slow/No Broadband'map and see if it matches up with your experience of broadband in your area.
Comments from Facebook and Twitter:
I got a ton of abuse off the BT engineer for being a gamer when we complained about the speed. Oh man do they hate gamers!
I had VM 50mb broadband for 3 months. My connection made laggy servers seem worse. Why don't new games have status bars?
ihave 20Mb broadband with virgin and it is not too bad, i dont get a lot of lag on games but i have to admit i dont DO games like mw2 online. burnout paradise is good and has never given me a problem. a gig demo downloads in less than 30 mins not too bad... i find most of the time my problem is with streaming movies and other content!
mine rarely lags but normally for some reason on world at war nazi zombies or halfway through a game on battlefield bad company it decides to lag alot and it's normally when my team is winning lol
im with Virgin Media and have the 20meg broadband, usually through out the day 8am-7pm its great and super fast, although demos and film downloads take up too 8 hours, i usually do these over night and sleep! as for gaming i havent had a problem yet? ;oD
Alexander Charles Rayner Holt
I can play between 8 am and 6 pm with generally no trouble, then XBox Live becomes unusable. People kick me from games because of it... or they don't like the look of me... :\
Definately! Only during the morning is my connection close to 1Mbit, otherwise I only get about 0.5Mbit, which means playing online is just painful.
Absolutely. I'm from Australia and unless I'm playing an all Aussie match (which is extremely rare) I'm usually playing with a red connection and lagging all over the place