According to the BBC 73% of us now regard fixed broadband, or should that be the internet, as essential as water or electricity.
Now the internet won’t quench our thirst or microwave our food, but in our remarkably changed households it does allow us to instantly immerse ourselves with disparate group of friends, old acquaintances, colleagues and interest groups.
From Friends Reunited to Facebook and now Twitter the acceleration in communication as a fundamental human need has been quite remarkable.
A second entertainment revolution is also well on the way. It seems that the majority of music we consume is now streamed across the internet.
More radically for the family the TV as a central focus is/has been replaced by the likes of the Beeb’s iPlayer, YouTube and a multitude of on demand, and often free, film and entertainment services.
Now any family with a broad-broadband service can watch what they want when they want and never have to share the same experience.
Mobile broadband has also grown apace. From broadband USB sticks to the eponymous iPhone, people who couldn’t give a damn about the internet on the mobile, too difficult and expensive, now sure do.
Twitter micro blogging, fast access (though not every where yet) and big screen handsets are allowing Joe or Joanne public to take their friends and media with them. But one of the biggest changes has been cost.
Like unmetered fixed Broadband, mobile broadband has reduced from 100’s of pounds to nothing almost overnight. Now with Three offering Skype calls and IM for free and 150MB of bundled data on PrePay the use of mobile internet will accelerate until it too becomes an extension to our essential needs.
Just don’t expect to see your family much, unless they’re on Facebook.