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Hyperoptic – Study Claims Slow Broadband Discourages UK House Movers

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 (3:07 pm) - Score 602
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Fibre optic ISP Hyperoptic, which is currently deploying a 1Gbps capable FTTP network to parts of 13 cities, has surveyed 3,000 UK residents and found that 11% of respondents would spend more for a property with 100Mbps broadband. Meanwhile 33% will try to delay their house move until the broadband is activated.

The survey also claims that over two thirds of Brits (69%) now check their broadband speed before moving home (up 8% from a similar study in 2015) and “hyperfast broadband” (the study appears to define this as 100Mbps rather than 1Gbps) provision is now also on par with, or trumping, other items that typically feature on a house-movers wish list.

Other Highlights

* 62% believe broadband is equal to or more important than an extra bedroom
* 45% say broadband is equal to or more important than local nice restaurants
* 46% believe broadband is equal to or more important than a gym
* 51% believe broadband is equal to or more important than a swimming pool
* 51% believe broadband is equal to or more important than local transport links
* 60% believe broadband is equal to or more important than nice neighbours
* 62% say broadband is equal to or more important than a garden

According to Hyperoptic, respondents confessed that if they saw on a speed checker, such as via Rightmove, that a potential property received less than 9Mbps of broadband speed then it would put them off buying the house entirely (they would expect 18Mbps as a minimum). However we’re not actually told what proportion of respondents felt like that, so take with a pinch of salt.

Similarly Hyperoptic does not say when or how the survey responses were gathered, although broadly the results still appear to chime with those of other similar surveys.

Steve Holford, Hyperoptic’s Chief Customer Officer, said:

“In the UK the broadband provision is more of a post-code lottery than an guarantee. It’s good to see so many more Brits taking the time to check what services are available before they make an offer on a property, rather than moving in and being very disappointed.

The fact that, for the vast majority of Brits, hyperfast broadband provision now rates alongside local amenities and property features, represents a fundamental shift for the property sector. For many years broadband has been considered a ‘techy’ issue or, at best, ‘a nice to have’ – it’s time for the property sector to get up to speed on the increasingly important role of connectivity, so that house movers receive the right information from the outset.”

Choosing a new home is of course always going to be a subjective matter of personal choice, with a variety of different factors to consider, but for most people broadband is now a vital service and thus access to faster speeds can easily become a key part of that decision.

Admittedly most of the available evidence remains somewhat anecdotal, but the implication seems clear. Given a selection of houses, a large proportion of people are likely to pick the one with faster connectivity than risk being left digitally isolated by a slow service. Obviously this is more of a challenge in rural areas and some disadvantaged urban locations, where connectivity can often be slower.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Steve Jones

    My suspicion is that most people have a “must have” check list and then a series of “nice to have”. In may case the “must have” list included a minimal speed broadband around the 6mbps mark. Much above 20mbps and it ceased to become an important discriminator. I also had “must haves” on local transport, shops, medical practice and so on.

    So I’ve no doubt BB is an important factor for the great majority of buyers these days, but possibly not in the way that the questions have been put.

    nb. one of the little ironies is that in the area I’ve move to, there are some very posh houses out in the countryside, but they probably have rather poor broadband unless they are willing to pay an absolute fortune for private circuits. It’s unfortunate that the market structure can’t find a way of using the wealthier occupants of the countryside to contribute to the higher costs of getting services to them. In many ways, they get their services (where available) cheap in the form of standard prices water, sewerage, power, phone and mail despite being inherently more expensive to service. (Gigaclear do, of course, have a model to support wealthier concentrations of housing, but not the more remote places).

  2. FibreFred

    Once again we have a broadband provider asking about.. broadband

    I’d rather see a survey from large estate agent asking about many things one of which is broadband

  3. Ignition

    Much as I would love to avail myself of Hyperoptic I am not sure the family, human and feline, would really go into one of the apartment blocks they cover.

    With that in mind this survey seems a bit academic.

  4. Kekkle

    When we were last house hunting, I completely ignored an properties than didn’t have either FTTC with at least 20Mbit or were in a Virgin Media area.

    In the end we got a place that was in both which gives the option of swapping technologies if there are any major issues with either. This was one of the big plus points on the for/against table for the house.

    I do have friends who have bought houses and then been annoyed when they can only get 5Mbit ADSL without having done the simple 2 minute checks beforehand!

    Interestingly at no point did the seller or estate agents mention anything about broadband, I think it would be a good selling point to mention that you have the choice between ~65Mbit FTTC or 200Mb Virgin Media services.

    • karl

      Well done for being diligent in your house move. Interesting none of the Estate Agents mentioned broadband, many of them do now recognise its importance, many have broadband checkers/gusstimate on their websites now for properties so i guess they do realise its important to many people despite the naysayers.

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