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House of Lords: "Internet should be reclassified as utility"

The House of Lords - back from trying to sneak the Snooper's Charter to the Commons (opens in new tab) - are now proposing that internet should be reclassified as a utility, allowing anyone to have access to it.

It follows a lacklustre amount of progress by broadband providers to offer even basic internet or mobile data in rural areas across the UK.

Making internet a utility would allow all wireless and broadband providers to access the same pipes and lines that companies like BT Group offer for lease to smaller companies.

This would allow community driven broadband projects in rural areas to be a reality, without the expenses and time constraints of dealing with a large corporation.

The UK reaction to the internet being reclassified as a utility is apathetic compared to the US, with no real demands for this law to be put into place. The UK does have more broadband competition with BT, Virgin Media and Sky all competing on price and speed packages however, making it less of an issue.

Currently, the House of Lords report is nothing more than that, a report. If it gets pushed through to the Commons, representatives of each party might give their own ideas as to the reclassification of the internet.

The report claims the UK should follow the Estonian law for internet, allowing everyone access to the utility, similar to water or electricity.

If it gains more traction, this could even be a part of The Labour Party or The Green Party's manifesto for the next General Election, since these are the two parties more willing to offer the internet as a utility in the near future.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.