Could you live without the internet? header image

Would you be able to get by without your broadband connection? New research suggests that for many people the answer is no. 

A survey carried out by Direct Line Home Insurance has revealed the web is seen as the essential day-to-day comfort most Brits could not live without. 

Indeed, one in eight people claimed they would struggle to go an hour without access to the net or their mobile phone. Meanwhile, close to half (48 per cent) of respondents claimed they could comfortably go longer without seeing their family than being unable to get online. 

The survey found eight per cent of Brits cannot go an hour without access to their laptops and computers, while the figure was six per cent for social media.

A bath or shower was named as the second essential most people cannot do without, followed by their TV, laptop or tablet, and car. Mobile phone, pet cat or dog, washing machine, tea, and coffee completed the top ten.

Commenting on the survey results, psychotherapist and health writer Christine Webber said: "If we didn’t know already, we certainly know now, from Direct Line’s research, just how vital the internet has become in our day-to-day lives. 

"The ability to check facts and find information - as well as be in touch via social media with friends and family wherever they are in the world - has become our number-one essential for 21st century living. "

According to an Ofcom report, the internet is now seen as a day-to-day essential by 56 per cent of Brits. However, only 82 per cent of households in the UK are currently connected to the web.

In August, Jodi Birkett, a technology, media and telecommunications partner at Deloitte, claimed access to fast broadband "isn't a luxury" and needs to become widely available. 

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, she said there is still very much a broadband lottery in north-west England, with available speeds ranging widely.