Households in the UK lost internet for an average of two days last year because of poor broadband connection, research has shown.

The study conducted by Uswitch.com found that the nearly 15 million people hit by internet disruption was three times higher than in the previous 12 months.

Last year, 4.7 millions UK adults suffered an internet outage for three or more hours.

The survey of 4,000 people found that 16 million working days were lost to outages over the course of the year as the pandemic saw higher demand on the broadband networks across the country.

Edinburgh saw the highest number of outages in the UK with an average downtime of over 175 hours in the last 12 months, compared to Belfast with the lowest average of only 11 hours.

According to the research, more than a third of people had to resort to using their mobile data to stay online, with 63 per cent saying that they went through their entire monthly allowance during that time.

The effect on the economy is thought to have cost the UK almost £5 billion in lost working time.

The areas in Britain with the slowest broadband

"Outages have affected the country like never before over the past 12 months, with three times as many people complaining of a lost connection than in the previous year," Ernest Doku, Uswitch.com broadband expert, said.

"The first thing to do if you think you’re suffering an outage is to check whether it’s a problem with your router, which can often be fixed with a simple reset.

"If it’s clear that the issues are beyond your control, contact your provider and they will be able to inform you of any problems in your area and, hopefully, an estimated time for a resolution.

"If your connection goes down for more than two days you could be entitled to compensation of just over £8 a day. Most of the UK’s big broadband providers are signed up to Ofcom’s auto-compensation scheme, so you should be covered.

“These rules were relaxed during the pandemic as providers focused on keeping the country running, but from July the scheme will be up and running again.

"If you’re experiencing repeated issues or you’re not happy with your suppliers’ response, do a comparison online and see what alternatives are available in your area."