In a recent survey by a government group called the Communications Consumer Panel (CCP), nearly three quarters of respondents said they couldn't live without their home broadband connection, rating it as high as other utilities such as electricity and water.
This prompted a range of headlines stating that 'broadband is now as important as water'. Now, while I wholeheartedly agree that broadband is an increasingly essential part of our lives, rating it as highly as these other life-giving services is possibly a step too far.
Removing the fact that without electricity there is no broadband, two weeks without water or power and your internet connection would soon pale into insignificance, except possibly to bombard your water and electricity providers with angry emails about the lack of service.
To be fair to the CCP, some of this was simply over-hyping from publications trying to generate an eye catching headline.
I've looked through the report and at no time does it actually say that respondents consider their home broadband to be as important as water or electricity, simply that they increasingly treat it as a utility rather than a commodity and that internet access should be considered a right, rather than a privilege. The distinction is a subtle one, but it is there nonetheless.
Perhaps my instinctive aversion to the comparison comes from being born and raised in South Africa, a country where a lack of electricity, water and basic sanitation is still a very real issue for thousands of people, but interestingly even there a mobile phone is increasingly seen as a vital part of life.
Returning to the first world and the UK in particular, the report does raise some interesting points about how internet access at home is viewed as increasingly essential and not having internet access at home is now considered something of a disadvantage, especially for families with children.
Anna Bradley, the chair of the Communications Consumer Panel puts it quite well: "The tipping point will be when broadband does not just provide an advantage to people who have it, but disadvantages people who do not," she said.
"Interestingly some people already feel disadvantaged: those who live in not-spots and those who have school-age children but do not have broadband at home."
We're living increasingly hyper-connected lives, using the internet not just for information, but for communication, purchases, services and entertainment - and that means that, while data access at home is never going to be as important as running water, those that don't have it are going to find themselves struggling to keep up with their peers.
For those of you interested in the full 'Not online, not included: consumers say broadband essential for all' report a PDF version can be found here.
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