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Most households now regard broadband connectivity as a basic utility, a new survey has found.

According to research by EY, 77 per cent consider broadband a utility comparable to electricity or gas.

Figures also showed that 60 per cent of people consider the reliability of their home internet connection a bigger priority than speed.

Fifty per cent of households described the internet as fundamental to their social lives, compared with 48 per cent in 2016.

Meanwhile, 45 per cent said it is vital for working or running a business from home, up from 41 per cent a year earlier.

Interestingly, the proportion of people using mobile devices as their primary means of getting online has risen from 16 per cent to 25 per cent.

Furthermore, 51 per cent said they need to be able to get online when they are on the move, a significant increase from 38 per cent in 2016.

Praveen Shankar, a Partner and Telecoms Sector Leader at EY, commented: "Households are enjoying unprecedented levels of connectivity, transforming their social and home lives as well as their viewing and working habits. 

"This is driving major changes in what they consume and how they do so."

However, EY stressed that while technology is changing people's lives at a rapid pace, many consumers are still not "on the cutting edge".

For instance, the report showed that 31 per cent still use their desktop PC as their primary means of accessing the internet.

Furthermore, 36 per cent were found to watch TV as it is broadcast almost every day, rather than rely on catch-up and streaming services.

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