The ongoing Covid pandemic has highlighted the need to have a steady, fast & reliable internet connection. Gigabit broadband speeds (1000Mbps) have become a new factor that home buyers look at before purchasing a property. Internet speeds are often taken for granted, with younger generations unaware of the days of dial-up. Surveys reveal that the number of subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix overtook traditional pay TV services like Sky, and that fewer people are watching live TV.
In a recent survey conducted by Grayshott Gigabit to over 1000 local residents, around 70% stated that they would continue to work from home, post pandemic. With many people working from home now, reliable broadband for video conferencing, downloading & uploading documents, has meant symmetric speeds (same for download & upload) will become important for your broadband requirements. For companies registered at your home premise, Grayshott Gigabit have added Home Worker 1000 Plan with added services including Symmetric 1Gbps broadband, Static IP Address, 9-5pm Business Support & Managed Wi-Fi. We will be taking orders very soon, as we continue our full fibre rollout which started last month.
Does broadband performance affect house prices?
One of the questions when public search for properties nowadays is the broadband speed to the premise. Broadband is now listed within the property details featured on many industry wide sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, and buyers are more savvy to just take the face value of a property speed with promise of Superfast broadband, as they are aware that their needs mean the requirement for gigabit speeds over full fibre or gigabit wireless. Many buyers actually ask for Wi-Fi access to run a speed test from their devices whilst visiting prospective properties. Properties could be at risk of losing value if they have slow broadband, according to new research, published in The Daily Express dated 25th February 2021. These homes could lose up to £50,000 as reliable broadband now becomes a priority for buyers. In fact, there can be a big difference in property prices in the same street simply because of access to broadband speeds. When it comes to moving house, people are simply not prepared to relocate to somewhere with bad connection or slow internet speed.
Why are broadband speeds slow?
There are several reasons; a low-quality unmanaged Wi-Fi router, bad placement of Wi-Fi access points, and poor internal wiring can reduce a property’s internet speed. But the biggest culprit is the access to the property from the cabinet which in our areas is mostly based on legacy copper lines that have a limit on speed, to a maximum of 80Mbps. Moreso, most of our residents get much lower speeds than 80Mbps, as the copper signal degrades over distance from the cabinet, and so many home owners don’t get their advertised speed, and so suffer from poor quality & painfully slow broadband.
Recently there has been a major push by the Government to create Project Gigabit, its aim is to improve Gigabit (1000Mbps) coverage across the UK, making Britain a leader in digital economy & technology. Fibre Optics can carry much faster speeds of internet data, and do not degrade with distance like the old copper wires. So, all operators are now rushing to upgrade the country, creating a new fibre optic highway. Communities that are slow in uptake will suffer, as people will choose against moving to areas without access to high speed internet. As an analogy, consider the traffic before the Hindhead Tunnel, and how long it took to get to areas served by the A3. The tunnel has created economic growth for the area, and the house prices have increased in value as a result.
Gigabit Broadband: Now the 4th Utility
Broadband is now classed as the 4th utility, alongside water, gas and electricity. Invariably, it can lead to hesitation in trying to find suitable buyers, or can reduce the value of the property in question if any one of the utility supplies proves to be inadequate. Broadband is now seen this way and having slow speeds and poor quality is now unacceptable to most.
Buyers have a greater understanding of the minimum speeds required for modern living. We are seeing more families move from London and other urban areas to our area, with a view to the great outdoors, better schooling, and their expectations is to also have gigabit broadband speeds. What with poor mobile phone coverage, and only part fibre currently available to the cabinet in most rural communities, many buyers will have to weigh up if the area and property is right for them. Consequently areas & properties without access to gigabit broadband will face the same scrutiny as those without other essential utilities.
After speaking to Darren Light, Partner at Warren Powell-Richards in Grayshott, we can summarise that this community has seen many changes over the last 10 years. With the completion of the Hindhead Tunnel at the end of July 2011, we’ve seen the GU26 area become a village again rather than a through route for the A3 traffic. Haslemere is accessible without having to cross the A3 allowing commuters easy access to the station. These factors have all increased the saleability and desirability of properties within this area. Since the start of the pandemic and lockdowns, the area has also seen a culture change with many now wanting to work from home for the majority of the week. This has allowed businesses to downsize their office space, saving thousands in rent and overheads, therefore allowing their staff the flexibility to be permanently based from home. This new way of working has highlighted the need for fast and reliable broadband with symmetrical download and upload speeds.
Grayshott Gigabit are installing a new full fibre network to provide a gigabit broadband infrastructure to our rural communities. Please register to find out more. We will then contact you as soon as your road has had the fibre network installed and is ready to be connected to your home. In addition, look out for updates on www.grayshottgigabit.com/services-network-status