Internet as a Utility or Another Service?

In this age of hyper- and inter- connected networks one would say the the Internet is a utility. While others would argue that the Internet couldn’t be a utility, because you don’t need the Internet to live. But to those people I ask, when was the last time they applied for a job at major chain stores?, do you not price compare?, do you get all your news from your local newscasters or newspapers?, do you buy all your stuff from a handful of stores, do you still use a pen and paper for correspondents? and so on. Most people when faced with these questions will start reviewing how they use the Internet. I ask of you the following question:

Is the Internet “just another service”, or has it become a integral part of our society and “now is a utility”?

But before you post your response, ask yourself could you go 7-days (168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds) without using anything that uses the Internet or Internet backbones. The list of items includes:

So I put the question to you, the entire Internet – could you go one week without the Internet and based upon the answer to that question is the Internet a service or a utility.

My Answers:

I will be the first to admit, I have a bias since I work in the computer and networking industry, so my vote is: No I couldn’t go a week without the Internet and I feel the Internet is a utility now. Aside from my previous mentioned bias, the main reason I couldn’t go a week without the Net is that I would literally be isolated from the world. That is because the part of the world I live in (Midwest United States > Illinois – 100+ Miles from any major city) is so backwards, one would think they had fallen into a time riff back to the 50’s however modern devices are still available. Also, since I run a technology company, I need to live online for technology news, communicating with clients, pricing hardware, research, etc.

So it’s your turn… Could you live without the Internet and is the Internet a Utility or a Service.

Disclosure: The reason I brought up this question is shortly before I posted the previous article my Internet service went out for about 45 minutes. I had to call and report the problem to my ISP (which I strongly dislike – it isn’t a major ISP). After it came back, I ran over to there status page and found the following:

Which, I’m 90% sure they, posted that shortly after I called, since I reported the problem at near 11:30, but the problem appeared at 11:12. What made it worst I was working on an email to a client that I was about to send before it went out. Anyway, back to the above question.

I feel that most of the responses will result in the Utility tag, due to the fact that most people that comment on blogs and websites in general are people that use the web on constant basis and since this site has little to no SEO.