At a first glance it may seem ridiculous that the speed of broadband can have an impact on the value of your property, but just take a moment to think about how much we use, if not rely on the internet.
It is the fourth utility after water, electricity, and gas and there’s growing evidence that absence of fast broadband can indeed impact the value of a home or make it harder to rent
Last year ISP review conducted a survey of its visitors which revealed some worrying numbers for anyone trying to sell, buy or rent a home in an area with poor broadband. Their research found that 71% of buyers would reject an “otherwise ideal home” if the available broadband did not meet minimum requirements, while 22% said they would attempt to negotiate a lower price. And 67% said the minimum acceptable speed was 50Mbps, significantly higher than the UK average of 28.9Mbps and the government target of 24Mbps for 95% of premises.
Some respondents to the poll even indicated they’d be willing to pay more for a home with faster broadband – nearly 6% said they’d pay 3-4% extra and almost 5% said 4% or higher. As this was conducted by a broadband website these stats will be leaning in favor of people who value internet access very highly, but it’s also borne out by other studies.
Fast broadband has become so important that even online companies such as Rightmove have added broadband speeds and availability to its lists of houses for sale, and the information is attracting 400,000 page views per month. Around 3,000 of its users have reported that speedy broadband is now more important than transport links or schools.
Solutions for slow broadband
If you’re trying to sell, rent or buy property and slow broadband is an issue there are some things you can try to improve the situation.
First off, whatever your situation it’s a good idea to examine availability in the area. When selling and renting you’ll want to anticipate the question of broadband if it comes up, and if you’re thinking of buying a place and broadband is important you should confirm availability yourself. If national companies like BT are unable to supply your broadband it is always worthwhile checking local businesses to see if they can help.
Most home broadband is delivered over a fixed line, using either the BT network (which is used by ISPs such as Sky and TalkTalk as well as BT itself) or the Virgin Media network. If neither of these is available or suitable there are other options.
Mobile broadband – especially using 4G – is now capable of providing very fast internet access. This can be suitable as an alternative to fixed-line broadband provided there is a strong signal, however, due to the limited data allowances, it is not particularly cost-effective, especially for heavy usage such as video streaming and large downloads.
Satellite internet is another alternative to consider if you’re in a very remote area. As it does not rely on telephone lines or ground-based wireless towers it works just about anywhere. And speeds are reasonable too, with the latest services offering up to 30Mbps. But satellite does have some drawbacks, in particular, expensive installation costs and a very high latency (or “lag”) which renders it unsuitable for some tasks.