Small businesses think broadband is more important than gas and water supplies, says XLN Telecom.
Research by the business ISP revealed 67 percent of firms think broadband is essential to running a business, only topped by telephone lines and electricity. That's six percent up on figures from two years ago, and a whopping 25 percent up on five years ago.
However, XLN Telecom said more than a third (37 percent) of firms are unsure about the speed their current broadband connection provides.
More than nine in ten (91 percent) of firms said they use their net connection for email, closely followed by 62 percent that use it for online banking and 61 percent that use the web to conduct research.
One in ten said they use it for VoIP and nine percent use the web for training.
"A decade ago, SMEs were very much at the end of the broadband trail but, as the results of our survey show, this has changed dramatically," said XLN's founder and managing director, Christian Nellemann.
"Today, the vast majority of companies of this size simply cannot function without business broadband, and decision makers have a right to call for packages suited to their organisation in terms of scale, service and cost."
See also: 52% of firms use social media websites