About 15 percent of homes in Britain have Internet broadband access under 2 Megabits per second (Mb), the minimum speed envisaged by the government for the whole country, research shows.

In January, communications minister Lord Carter said the government intended to ensure universal broadband access through a mixture of fixed and wireless connections by 2012 to make Britain more competitive and help drag it out of recession.

Currently, around 60 percent of the country takes broadband, while some 99 percent has access to it.

However, preliminary research by broadband performance website SamKnows on behalf of the BBC found that as many three million homes had Internet connectivity under 2 Mb.

SamKnows (http://www.broadbandperformance.co.uk/availabilitymap.aspx) has produced a map highlighting Notspot areas where there is slow connection or no broadband availability.

It shows they are not limited to rural areas but are spread across the whole country.

Whilst in its current form this map should only be used as a guide, it does demonstrate the extent of the issue the UK faces with Notspots or poor connectivity, SamKnows said.

Even with this superficial research, we can see the complexity of the problem that faces the government.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)