Nearly three quarters of Brits believe a broadband connection is as important as water or electricity supply, says the Communications Consumer Panel.
Research by the panel will be submitted to the government as part of the research for its Digital Britain review, which is expected to be published on June 16 and will look at how to bring 2Mbps broadband to every UK resident.
The survey also revealed that consumers feel they will be disadvantaged if they don't have internet access, in particular when it comes to online shopping and banking services.
"The key message is that people think broadband is at a tipping point. It is being compared by consumers to gas and electricity - things which they think we all ought to have access to, almost as a right," said Anna Bradley, the chair of the Communications Consumer Panel.
"It's fantastically useful for everyone, essential for some now, but will be essential for everyone in the near future.
The Communications Consumer Panel also said the research highlighted that Brits feel the government should be helping those in 'not spots' where internet access is unavailable, to get online. The BBC recently revealed that nearly three million homes in the UK are situated in broadband 'not spots'.
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See also: Wi-Fi the solution to broadband for all?