Australians believe internet access is a basic human right

Access to the internet is a basic human right, according to 69% of respondents to an online survey.

Compare Broadband asked visitors 'Is access to the internet a basic human right?' and of the 519 respondents, 69% voted yes, 29% said no and 2% weren't sure.

Most people would agree the internet plays an essential role in their work and home lives. Many Australian livelihoods now rely wholly or in part on the internet, and keeping in touch with loved ones at home and abroad is often through email, Skype, or social media.

Compare Broadband spokesperson, Sarah Routledge, said: "Whether it is by accessing news from sources all over the world, or sharing information via blogs and social media, the internet has become an essential tool of communication – something many people now cannot imagine living without."

The internet has also become a way for activists, citizen journalists and everyone in between to share information and spread awareness.

Amid the recent protests in the Middle East, the Egyptian government attempted to silence uprisings in their countries by shutting down access to the internet.

In Libya, a sudden drop in search traffic for eight-hour periods over the last few days suggests similar restrictions.

Although the extreme circumstances leading to these governments disrupting internet access are unlikely to be repeated here, Australians now clearly regard internet access as a right rather than as a convenience.