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UK consumers have identified broadband as their favourite entertainment services - highlighting the importance of the web to home and family life.

In a study conducted by Virgin Media, 45 per cent of the 2,005 respondents said they would not be able to live without broadband services.

This was far and away the top answer, with mobile phones - which took second place in the top ten list - voted for by just 28 per cent of consumers.

Digital TV was seen as being an essential service by 20 per cent of respondents, with eating out (nine per cent) in fourth place on the list.

Some five per cent of consumers said they were unprepared to sacrifice family trips, while four per cent could not give up DVD or Blu-ray services.

Just three per cent considered trips to the cinema, music concerts (three per cent) and theatre (two per cent) as being indispensable forms of entertainment.

With household budgets tight, broadband can help families enjoy cheap nights in, enjoying IPTV services, movie streaming and downloaded albums among other services.

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