Nine in ten web users believe access to the web is a fundamental right, says the BBC.
A survey of 27,000 adults across 26 countries, which was conducted by GlobeScan for the BBC, also revealed that 55 percent of Brits believe there is a case for government regulation of the internet.
Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told the BBC: "The right to communicate cannot be ignored".
"The internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created."
Toure said the internet should be regarded as "basic infrastructure - just like roads, waste and water".
The BBC also said that 70 percent of those surveyed that do not currently use the web felt they should be given access to the net, while four in five said the web offered greater freedom.
When it came to concerns over the web, fraud, access to explicit and violent content and privacy issues were cited as the biggest worries.