Published: 7th Jan 2016
Towards the end of last year, the government announced that it was offering an "early Christmas present" for UK homes and businesses with slow internet speeds - subsidised satellite broadband connections.
Vouchers will be available to properties that are currently unable to access an affordable broadband service with speeds of at least two megabytes per second.
An estimated 300,000 domestic and commercial premises across the UK will be able to make use of the provision, which was rolled out throughout December.
Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said this is part of the government's "transformation of the UK's digital landscape".
Consumers receiving a fast, reliable broadband connection for the first time could find that it has a transformative effect on their life.
Here are some of the many benefits that can be gained from quick and easy access to the internet.
Saving time and money
Getting things done more quickly - from mundane, everyday tasks like grocery shopping to more unusual, exciting things like booking a holiday or buying a car - is one of the main reasons many people use the internet.
Something like transferring money between bank accounts, which would previously have required a visit to the bank or a time-consuming phone call, can now be completed in just a few clicks.
There are also plenty of ways to save money on the internet, such as taking the time to compare various retailers before making a big purchase, or visiting websites to find local deals and discounts on everything from meals out to car MOTs.
Making a career change is one of those ambitions so many people often talk about but never pursue.
Fast and reliable access to the internet means it is easier than ever to search through an unparalleled array of job opportunities, find the one that is right for you and make an application.
What's more, you can increase your chances of success by seeking out online advice on brushing up your CV, writing a covering letter and preparing for an interview.
If you are taking a long-term approach to transforming your career, do some internet research on courses, qualifications or experience that could help you achieve your professional ambitions.
There is no longer any stigma attached to meeting people and starting relationships online - more and more people are realising that dating websites like Match.com, eHarmony and more recent arrivals like Tinder can make it easy to find a potential new partner.
Meeting someone online can take the pressure off first dates and ensure that you are well suited to one another before taking the next step in your relationship.
Starting new relationships via the internet doesn't have to be about romance. If you have just moved to a new area, for instance, you can do a bit of online research about local groups or gatherings where you can meet your fellow residents and make new friends.
The internet is an unrivalled resource for expanding your intellectual horizons, offering a seemingly endless array of websites, courses and services to help you learn new things.
Examples include Coursera.org, which provides universal access to expert education from around the world, offering courses from prestigious universities and learning institutions. Visit the website to start learning about anything from cooking to computer programming.
There are also countless websites where you can improve your mental capacity by playing games, learn how commonplace but complex devices actually work, or expand your vocabulary.
As useful as the internet is for learning new things, gaining experiences and completing important tasks, the main reason millions of people go online every day is for entertainment.
With so much to choose from, one of the trickiest tasks is deciding where to start.
If you are looking for something to watch, YouTube, Vimeo and BBC iPlayer should cater to all tastes and interests, while music fans might want to start by signing up to a streaming service like Spotify, Deezer or Tidal.
Gamers are just as spoilt for choice, with websites like Miniclip, Addicting Games and Kongregate offering enough titles to appeal to everyone from first-timers to seasoned players.
So whatever your tastes, interests and goals in life, the internet can help you meet them and will probably lead you to some brand new ones too
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