Broadband is 'as much a right as water or electricity'

Access to the internet is becoming essential' and some believe that using it to connect to content and services is becoming a right' on a par with water and electricity.

This is according to new research from the Communications Consumer Panel, which will be sent to Lord Carter and his advisors in support of the final Digital Britain report.

In a survey of 2,000 adults, a large majority (84 per cent) believe that it should be possible for everyone in Britain to have broadband at home.

The research also said that a turning point for broadband would be when it provided an advantage to people who did have it, and a disadvantage to people who didn't.

"Interestingly, some people already feel disadvantaged: those who live in no-spots and those who have school-age children but do not have broadband at home," said Anna Bradley, Communications Consumer Panel chair, in a statement.

She also said that the research showed clear support for the government's universal broadband commitment.

However, Bradley warned: "Government must make it clear what services and activities people will and will not be able to carry out with a download speed of 2Mb/s - and will need to keep this under review so that it does not become outmoded."

The research said that industry had to play a major part in providing access for all. Commercial providers such as PC makers and ISPs had a role in providing UK coverage and keeping costs down.

Other businesses could also play a role, such as, for example, adapting existing corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes like Tesco's Computers for Schools.