My sister-in-law lives in what must be one of the remotest spots in England. When we visit we leave our car on a grassy knoll and switch to a very old 4×4 for the last couple of miles of the journey which takes about 20 minutes.
Life for her is hard. She has a telephone thanks to the 'Universal Service Obligation' but when this goes wrong it's often out of order for several weeks. There is no mobile phone signal. TV comes in by satellite.
Internet access is over the dodgy telephone line. She can only get dial-up access so it's slow and the telephone line is (obviously) engaged when she is online.
My sister-in-law visited us last week and I helped her setup a new laptop. The one she has is more that 6 years old and was beginning to struggle a bit. We got the laptop home and started to set it up. It came with Windows Vista. The first thing you realise is that, to set up a laptop these days, you need an internet connection. We have broadband. The first thing to do was to install virus protection. This involved dowloading an update to the program supplied and the latest data files. Once this was done, Vista needed updating too: 37 updates were required – nearly 100 Mbytes.
This whole process would have been practically impossible over a dial-up connection.
When you add to this the fact that more and more essential public services are only available online you start to feel very uncomfortable (or at least you should) that a significant cohort of the UK's population, mostly rural, do not yet have broadband access.
While she was with us, I also set my sister-in-law up with an account on Twitter. Which she seems to appreciate (see image). At least there are still some services that work over a dodgy dial-up connection.