Re: Typical households need 10Mbps
Renew your tax disc if you work and your local post office is closed at 5:00:00.000001 pm.
Submit your tax return using the much easier online system.
Do your legally-required kids homework that's heavily online-based nowadays as school more to virtual learning environments.
Do online banking to pay your bills.
Comparison shop among suppliers of basic utilities.
Research legal issues, benefit entitlement, etc. online.
Apply for jobs (good luck doing this offline nowadays,with anything but manual-labour jobs).
Research, and vote, political candidates online.
There's a TON of things that need half-decent Internet access, and 56K modems aren't any good for people any more. If you have a household of average proportions, and even if you decide to do without all the above (somehow), it's making your life harder than necessary, killing trees, increasing costs and making everything take longer than the digital alternative would.
Hell, my doctor's surgery sends prescriptions electronically now.
The digital world is coming, and much like electricity was new once, it will soon become (if it hasn't already) a utility service. And that means a service obligation of a pittance of megabits (my phone can do three times 10mbps on a £10 a month basic package) to ensure that people can do them without being conned into oblivion by their ISP.
At one time, landlines weren't available to all, water wasn't available to all, gas wasn't available to all, sewage wasn't available to all, electricity wasn't available to all, postal services weren't available to all, etc. When we realised the benefits - not just for the householder but overall as a populous - they were mandated and regulated to ensure continuous service.
The government probably saves SO MUCH MONEY by offering online services for things like tax returns that it's happy to FORCE ISP's to provide a basic service so that they can move everyone over to it.