Broadband migration could begin to emerge as a major demographic trend in the UK, according to one industry commentator.
Nick Thompson, Director of Consumer Services at Hull-based internet service provider KC, suggested that rural areas could see their populations further depleted unless high-speed broadband becomes more widely available.
He said that a lack of broadband in rural areas "could become a deciding factor in where people choose to live", given that internet access has become "just as important as hot water and electricity".
"As the digital divide inevitably widens with the introduction of new broadband-based services, we could also see a type of 'broadband industrial revolution'," Mr Thompson said.
He claimed that people living in rural communities may actively move to urban areas in order to obtain a broadband connection.
Meanwhile, Mr Thompson reiterated his firm's pledge to provide 2Mb broadband services across rural East Yorkshire by 2012, three years ahead of the government's universal service commitment deadline.
He said KC would achieve this feat despite its service area being "disproportionately rural" compared to other areas of Britain.