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BT Research Finds Faster Broadband Helps to Sell N.Ireland Homes

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 (2:35 pm) - Score 601

A new FN Research survey commissioned by BT has reported that 60% of people in Northern Ireland would be put off from moving into a new house if it suffered from “poor or slow broadband“. Similarly 63% said that having “fibre broadband” (FTTC / FTTP) in their household was very important.

Interestingly the research noted that 60% of 18-35 year old respondents, who tend to make up the bulk of future homeowners, stated that they would check broadband speeds in advance of buying a property. On top of that 54% of those in the same age bracket said they would pay “a lot or a little” more for a property if it had access to “superfast fibre broadband” (defined as 24Mbps+ in this study).

There is also now a much greater awareness of the types of broadband available in Northern Ireland, with almost 8 out of 10 people being aware of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) but only just under half were aware of the latest “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) services.

Elsewhere it’s noted that 22% of respondents spent between 4 and 6 hours online a day, while 41% were online for more than 6 hours a day.

Frank McManus, BT’s Head of Marketing for NI, said:

“The survey shows how important fibre broadband has become to peoples’ everyday lives, with only a tiny fraction, just 4 per cent of households with broadband, now being online for less than an hour each day.

As the use of broadband continues to grow – with 82 per cent using it for social media at least several times a week, 80 per cent for email, 63 per cent for watching films or TV and 58 per cent for downloading or streaming music – understanding what greater download speeds can deliver is critical.

Better download speeds make all these activities faster and, with more people within households using devices, from smart TVs and laptops to phones and gaming consoles, speed and reliability are essential if you don’t want to slow down other users in the home.”

The survey was conducted in February 2018 via face-to-face interviews with people aged over 18 across Northern Ireland, which resulted in a fairly small sample size of 258 (i.e. take with a pinch of salt). Nevertheless these results appear to be roughly in keeping with similar surveys that have previously been conducted on the importance of broadband, particularly to those in the market for a new house (example).

At this point it’s worth noting that the coverage of fixed line superfast and ultrafast broadband networks in N.Ireland is among the weakest in the UK. Overall around 86% can access 30Mbps+ capable connections and this falls to a little over 30% for 100Mbps+. Clearly there’s a lot of work left to do but we might soon see some movement (here).

Separately the comparison site Gocompare has today published a new list, which claims to show the top 20 features that UK home-buyers look for and unsurprisingly “good broadband” is near the top.

Top 20 property must-haves

1. Central heating 82%
2. Double glazing 80%
3. Secure doors and windows 74%
4. A garden 69%
5. A good, reliable broadband connection sufficiently strong to stream films and TV 59%
6. Plenty of electrical sockets 59%
7. Local shops and amenities 58%
8. A driveway or dedicated parking space 53%
9. A reliable, clear mobile phone signal 53%
10. A good energy efficiency rating 52%
11. At least 2 toilets 52%
12. Friendly neighbours 51%
13. A bath tub 50%
14. A shower cubicle 49%
15. Cavity wall insulation 46%
16. A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV 42%
17. A garage 41%
18. A dining room 40%
19. A landline telephone 39%
20. A new boiler or central heating system 37%

As usual we must caveat that such surveys are highly subjective. At the end of the day the decision about how much you pay for a house, as well as what matters most in that equation, will always come down to a matter of personal choice, which is different for everybody and every location being considered.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. NGA for all says:

    This is a bit odd of BT NI. They have received £66m in subsidies so far, and their is £150m up for grabs, and about 100k NI premises of 800k who cannot get a >30Mbps service. Most of the 100k are beyond the reach of the FTTC solution and BT have shown no appetite (1-CBP since 2010) to do FTTP in-fill.
    As Ofcom has confirmed BT NGA capital investment to be c£1.3bn, then their NI capital investment is no more than £39m for 1,300 cabs. The rest is subsidised, apart from the capitalisation of operational costs. BT NI has used subsidy to deliver FTTP to some very unlikely places (FTTP at public toilet on a DP in Derrylin, County Fermanagh) while avoiding any attempts to make it available in business parks or schools.
    The remaining problem demands FTTP-infill or mobile supported with an antenna, the latter not needing a subsidy, the former a method of delivery BT is struggling to deal with.
    Is the message for people to move within 1200m of a cabinet, or is BT is now employing the resources to do the job? There is enough funds (£150m + the £6m SoS Hancock announced in Sept 2017) to create the largest contiguous geographic full fibre deployment in the UK – (and Europe).

  2. Meadmodj says:

    I understand the £150m was pledged in June 2017 (May/DUP agreement) to be spent over two years however it appears that as there isn’t any effective Northern Ireland Executive, assembly or administration so there has been no progress regarding contracting etc. in 10 months. Along with NHS investment this is part of a much wider issue for the people of Northern Ireland.

    1. Ultrafast Dream says:

      @Meadmodj, I think this is on the move now, I believe the Civil Service may have gathered it up for consultation. As long as they don’t await those sorry people we call politicians to rubber stamp anything we should be ok, if it is the latter we are doomed and will remain so forever (not wanting to turn this into anything political, I couldn’t be bothered wasting my breath on them).

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