A fifth of people living in the South West are waiting more than 30 minutes every time they load a web page.
That is among the findings of a survey ordered by ultrafast rural broadband provider Gigaclear.
According to the Abingdon-based firm, a fifth of residents wait more than 30 minutes for a simple web page to load, while nine percent are left buffering for up to two-and-a-half hours.
Gigaclear calculates that this equates to three-and-a-half days of waiting per month for the average South West resident.
CEO Gareth Williams said: “When broadband goes down it hits the headlines, but for many, especially in rural areas, there’s no functional broadband to begin with.
"What this research clearly demonstrates is the significant impact that poor broadband speeds are having on people’s lives. Given the majority of the British workforce is at home, either working or on furlough, the pressures on the internet continue to increase.
"That being said, there is a huge gap between expectations and performance. Modern consumers have come to expect a certain level of connectivity, but for some broadband providers the strain this is putting on performance is too much, and they simply can’t keep up. This needs to change.”
According to the survey, the problem is especially severe in rural areas, with a single HD film taking an average of 55 minutes to download – almost twice as long as in urban areas.
Across the South West as a whole, the survey revealed that 68 percent of people regularly had internet problems, that more than a fifth lost their connection entirely several times a week, and that for one in 20 this was a daily occurrence.
With 27 percent of UK households having a minimum of three people using the internet at any one time, Gigaclear says, poor speeds add to problems and cause stress levels to rise.
Mr Williams said: “Broadband should be a platform for good - it helps families stay in touch, allows people to work from home, keeps rural communities connected, and so much more.
"So, it is vital that buffering is made a thing of the past, no matter where in the UK you live. Internet-related stress has no place in today’s society, and that’s why we’re working hard to ensure that future generations will not have to experience these types of frustrations.”
More information about Gigaclear's services can be found at www.gigaclear.co.uk