UK TELECOMS WATCHDOG Ofcom has claimed that mobile phones and internet connections are now "essential" for UK consumers.
In a report released on Tuesday, Ofcom said that, following some research it has carried out, it has come to the conclusion that communications services, including mobiles and internet access, are now "essential" for UK consumers, and said that it thinks all should be able to access such services.
At present, according to Ofcom's research, 95 percent of households have at least one mobile phone, while 82 percent have an internet connection.
Ofcom wants to get both these figures up to 100 percent, and has set out a number of steps to get the country there. For example, the watchdog calls for improved links between debt charities and communication providers to encourage them to be more responsive to the changing circumstances of consumers, improved awareness of affordable deals and an improved service switching process.
Ofcom consumer group director Claudio Pollack said, "While it's encouraging that the majority of people don't experience difficulties paying for their communications services, it's important that help is available for those who do.
"We're working to ensure that all consumers can benefit from the communications services which are most important for modern life."
Uswitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku added, "It might seem rather obvious to state that telecoms services are essential, but it's an important distinction to make because there is now an expectation and a responsibility to deliver these services to vulnerable people.
"Technology has asserted its rightful place in our lives, but it needs to be accessible to all. We must ensure everyone can afford entry-level mobile and broadband deals.
Ofcom's report comes a week after Germany announced plans to regulate technology firms such as Google as utilities. µ