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British families value their access to broadband internet above holidays and even eating, new research has disclosed.

Figures published by the telecoms group O2 UK reveal that 67 per cent of households would be reluctant to cut back spending on high-speed internet connections.

In comparison, less than a quarter of those surveyed expressed a willingness to reel in their expenditure on food, while around a third said likewise of family holidays.

Marketing director at O2 UK, Alistair Johnston, said: "This report reveals just how pervasive technology now is within UK homes.

"Technology has a hugely positive role to play in helping families better manage their hectic lives, but also ultimately in being able to spend more time together."

An investigation by Nottingham University Business School has shown that access to high-speed broadband connections has also boosted the popularity of social networking portals, the Derby Evening Telegraph reported.

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