Many people around the world feel like internet is as important as water or electricity making it feel like a utility to many. Lawmakers in the US want to classify internet as a utility with backlash from many groups who fear that putting the government in more control of internet access would ruin net neutrality. In the UK, the upper house of parliament known as the House of Lords is also clamoring for internet access to be reclassified as a public utility.
The reason the call is out to make internet a public utility is that a report published by the House of Lords says that the UK is falling behind other countries in high-speed internet access and universal internet access. Those two factors could affect the ability for the UK to compete in the fast growing digital economy.
The report calls for the government to define internet as a utility service and make it available for all to access and use. However, the report doesn’t get into how the reclassification would work in a legal sense.
The report also talks about the UK lagging behind other countries when it comes to high-speed internet access with London ranking at 26 on a list of the 33 European capitals when it comes to high-speed internet access. Another issue broached in the report is the large number of dead zones in urban areas where internet providers decided it didn’t make economic sense to roll out new infrastructure.