Faced with a global pandemic, two lockdowns and weeks of tier three restrictions, people in Blackpool have been spending more time at home.
But new figures reveal the huge postcode lottery that left some struggling with crippling broadband, while others enjoyed superfast download speeds from the comfort of their homes.
Across the Preston, broadband speeds range from a lightning fast 339.1 megabits (Mbps) per second to a snail-paced 0.2 Mbps, according to data from Uswitch.com.
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It means families using Zoom, Skype or Facebook to speak to relatives and friends could be faced with annoying freezes, cut-outs and sound delays.
Meanwhile, those downloading films could be left waiting up to 120 hours, compared to just one minute 20 seconds in neighbourhoods with the fastest speeds.
The average broadband speeds were collected in postcode areas with more than 50 addresses through at least one test in the 12 months up to October this year. In total, nearly 400,000 tests were done.
They revealed, in Preston the postcodes with the slowest speeds were:
1) PR2 1XR, in Lea & Larches, with an average speed of 0.2Mbps
2) PR2 9QA, in Garrison, average 0.5Mbps
3) PR1 3RP, in Fishwick & Frenchwood, average 0.8Mbps
The postcodes with the fastest speeds were:
1) PR1 1PH, in Deepdale, average 339.1Mbps
2) PR1 6ET, in Brookfield, average 217.9Mbps
3) PR2 9RR, in Sharoe Green, average 208.3Mbps
Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “The digital divide that runs through Britain has grown dramatically in the last year, with the fastest street’s broadband more than 5,000 times quicker than the slowest’s.
“It’s great that more of us are enjoying ultrafast broadband, but we don’t want to see large swathes of the country left behind on shoddy connections that aren’t suitable for modern life.”
This week, the Government set out a draft strategy to connect 1 million homes and businesses with 1,000 Mbps broadband in the hardest-to-reach areas of the UK.
It is part of a plan to provide 85% of the country with broadband capable of the speed by 2025.
Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: "We will begin these procurements rapidly so broadband providers big and small can move quickly to get the job done and level up communities with this much faster, next generation broadband."