Super-fast broadband can help deliver vital services to the elderly and people with mobility difficulties, it has been claimed.
According to Ofcom, advances in broadband technology are helping to break down physical barriers which prevent some people from participating in community life.
The media regulator's Advisory Committee for Older and Disabled People claimed that services such as remote health monitoring and consultations, mentoring and befriending schemes, teleworking and life-long learning initiatives are all facilitated by high-speed broadband.
Ofcom said these can all play a role in promoting independent living so that older and disabled people can lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Jo Connell, Chairperson of the advisory committee, commented that for many people, next-generation broadband is "already a reality".
"Our research shows that next generation broadband is about much more than multi-player gaming, faster music downloads or high definition TV," she added.
The government has committed to rollout a minimum of 2Mb broadband by 2015, having pushed the timescale back by three years due to funding difficulties.