AS Covid-19 means many of us are working and socialising from home, we depend more than ever on a reliable internet connection.

And even as lockdown measures begin to ease, those reluctant to resume long commutes may choose to shun their office for good.

But an analysis of broadband quality in Winchester shows this could be easier for some than others.

The House of Commons Library has produced estimates of average download speeds for individual areas within each parliamentary constituency across the UK.

In Winchester and Chandler’s Ford constituency, the fastest area was Stanmore where the average download speed was 79.1 megabits per second in May 2019, when the data was recorded. Other high-performing areas were Oliver’s Battery and Hursley, 77.6 megabits and Winchester North and Sparsholt, 74.4.

The average across Winchester is 61.9, higher than the UK average of 60.9.

In the Meon Valley, the fastest area was Cowplain West, where the average download speed was 85.3 megabits per second in May 2019, when the data was recorded.

At the other end of the scale, New Alresford saw an average speed of 30.2, then Colden Common and Twyford, 33.8, and Swanmore, Hambledon and West Meon at 34.2, putting all three in the worst ten per cent in the UK. Also poor was Bishop’s Waltham and Waltham Chase, 39.3.

Despite that both Alresford and Colden Common were above regular Ofcom’s definition of “superfast” downloads, which it defines as at least 30 Mbps.

City councillor Frank Pearson, who represents the Central Meon Valley Ward, that includes Swanmore, said: “Those in the rural areas have pointed out repeatedly that broadband service regarding bandwidth or reliability is just not good enough for rural office working. Covid-19 has brought this to a head with a vengeance!”

The figures reflect speeds received rather than those available, as some people may have access to faster connections than the ones they pay for.

In Stanmore, 99 per cent of premises were capable of receiving superfast download speeds in January, whether or not they were using such a service.

Meanwhile, virtually all premises were able to receive 10 Mbps download speeds or 1 Mbps for uploads, which Ofcom deems the minimum requirement for “decent broadband”.

The Government recently wrote into law the right to request this level of service, with Ofcom estimating in December that roughly 155,000 premises across the UK could claim.

In Winchester constituency, 1.3 per cent of premises were unable to get decent service, 0.2 per cent in urban areas and 3.8 per cent in the country. For Alresford some 7.4 per cent were unable to get decent broadband with 3.9 per cent in Colden Common and Twyford.

An Ofcom spokesman said: “More than nine in 10 UK households can now get superfast broadband, but some areas still struggle for a decent connection. Since March, anyone who is unable to get a decent service has the legal right to request one.”

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said the Government is committed to bringing faster, gigabit-speed internet to the whole country – one gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits.