The UK is placed only 13th in Gartner's ranking of European broadband penetration. Just 0.8% of households have either cable or ADSL provision, compared with 7.1% in Austria.
A recent survey by the Communications Management Association found that that 71% of 550 members questioned believe their business is being hampered by a lack of broadband access.
Gartner research director Jean Claude Delcroix said the telecoms industry needs to undergo a deeper split between infrastructure and services/content because companies with a stranglehold on infrastructure are impeding the delivery of affordable broadband services.
"Companies would have to decide whether they wanted to be in infrastructure or content. At the moment, companies that run infrastructure are reluctant to allow competitors at the service level, which means there is effectively no market," he said.
Delcroix also called for regulation to ensure that access to broadband is provided in remote areas as well as densely populated cities.