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Internet should be classed as utility, says UK Parliament

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Internet of Things

The UK Parliament says internet service should now be classed as a utility, ranking it alongside essential services like gas and electricity.

The calls came in a report on Digital Skills in the UK titled ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’, published by a House of Lords Select Committee.

The report details how people are becoming increasingly dependent on the internet for everyday activities like ‘shopping, using a telephone, and banking’.

“We must aspire for the vast majority of the population to achieve the level of digital literacy needed to fully participate in society,” reads the report.

“All of this will require universal access to the internet to engage with vital public and personal services.”

“That is why we conclude that the Government should define the internet as a utility service, available for all to access and use.”

Although the UK currently has widespread internet access, there is no definitive legal mandate that assures access for every member of society.

“Digital technology is changing all our lives, work, society, and politics,” wrote the committee. “It brings with it huge opportunities for the UK, but also significant risks.”

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The report went on to describe what it called a ‘real concern’ that the UK could be left behind in the new digital age, suggesting we are at a ‘tipping point’.

“Digital businesses can locate anywhere in the world, and if we fail to provide the right conditions for them to flourish in the UK, we will become a branch economy, much less prosperous and influential than we could be.”

The Select Committee then reiterated the need for a ‘proactive Government’, requesting a cohesive Digital Agenda is prioritised to ensure the UK ‘survives and thrives’.

MikeL

February 19, 2015, 7:39 pm

of course, this will also mean additional taxing of the service and also leading to direct usage charges that all utility services have.

TheHulksMothersCousin

February 19, 2015, 7:40 pm

Unfortunately one particular player holds a monopoly that they shouldn't and that's Virgin. Apart from the fact they are the only company in the UK with access to Cable in many areas the only competition is the un enhanced old BT snail mail line. Because of this Virgin know they can take advantage and because Virgin are such a presence in many areas BT dont seem to care about improving their telephone line.

I thought a monopoly on such a service was wrong in this country and I think Virgin should be made to unbundle their cable and allow other companies at a fair price to use their cable or BT should be made to upgrade the rest of their network to make sure one broadband company doesn't have so much power anywhere.

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