Some households could be forced to give up their broadband connections as the government looks to reduce the public sector wage bill, it has been claimed.
Tristia Clarke, commercial director at TalkTalk, has warned that widespread redundancies could leave many families unable to afford internet services.
She noted that even small changes in the amount of disposable income available – or indeed in the price of broadband services – could tip some families over the edge.
"There are millions of people who are on the margins of the broadband revolution," Ms Clarke stated.
"Some are currently online, some are not, but in both cases a few pounds per month can make the difference between having broadband access at home and not."
So at a time when the government is keen to press for wider adoption of online services, its own fiscal policy risks reducing levels of connectivity, she claimed.
Last month, prime minister David Cameron warned of a new 'age of austerity' as the government attempts to restore the UK's finances to health.
The government has already been forced to delay its plans for nationwide 2Mb broadband from 2012 until 2015, owing to a shortage of funding.