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Broadband essentials

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Ultrafast broadband is now a 'must have' for new home buyers, with many prospective purchasers now ranking it more important than crime levels or transport links.

A new study by broadband comparison site broadbanddeals.co.uk found that the average homebuyer would be willing to offer an extra £6,500 on a property guaranteed to have excellent broadband speed.

When asked what would be most likely to deter them from buying a home, the most common answer among the 2,700 people polled, was a poor or slow broadband connection (88 per cent), closely followed by above average levels of crime (81 per cent). A lack of transport links and motorway access was also high on the list with 73 per cent, followed by a lack of amenities and nightlife (64 per cent) and a lack of schools or nurseries (58 per cent).

Of those who stated poor or slow broadband connections would put them off purchasing a property, the majority (62 per cent) admitted that they are currently used to fast connections in their current homes and would struggle with anything less. A further 27 per cent stated they need fast broadband in order to work from home.

This comes as a new survey from Citizens Advice found that more than a third of homeowners experienced a delay in the set-up or their broadband.

Some 15 per cent of house-movers found their broadband connection to be slow or unreliable initially, 11 per cent requested multiple call-outs for engineers, and nine per cent had their engineer appointments rescheduled.

The survey found that people moving into a new house were "often" left without a working internet connection for weeks after the set-up date specified by their provider, with others waiting at home for engineers on multiple occasions, or simply being left with a slow or intermittent connection.

In order to meet growing customer demand, the Berkeley Group - one of the UK's best known developers of new homes - has adopted 'full fibre' across almost every development it is building, and will ensure that this technology is provided to all future homes.

Berkeley has partnered with Openreach in a nationwide scheme to connect all sizeable new housing developments in the UK with 'full-fibre' Fibre-to-the-Premises technology (FTTP). Launched in February last year, the scheme was initially free for developments of 250 homes or more, then in May 2016 Openreach reduced it to 100 homes, and from November it was reduced further to just 30 homes.

Rob Perrins, Chief Executive of the homebuilder Berkeley Group, said:

"For new home buyers, high speed broadband has almost become a given now - it is like the power steering on a car - no one asks whether the car they're buying has it anymore. If we weren't able to offer fibre, I think there would be the real prospect of some people walking away from property sales. It is definitely a factor in the decision making process for people buying new homes.

"More and more people are consuming ever more bandwidth - with an increasing use of streaming music services, things like Netflix, Amazon Prime and other video content.  And by installing FTTP or 'ultrafast' we can assure customers that they'll have capacity for their future needs.  The fact that Openreach's network is open to competition is also a significant factor - people want a choice of broadband provider."