Online property portal Rightmove is teaming up with BT to list the broadband speed of homes on its website. Would you pay more for a new home that guaranteed faster broadband?
Those looking for a new home no doubt scrutinise the number of bedrooms, the size of the living areas and garden, and the quality of the bathroom and kitchen. But what about its broadband connection?
Prospective buyers will soon be able to see what internet speed they can expect as Rightmove, the UK’s largest property website, has worked with BT to list the speeds of over one million homes.
Predictably, Rightmove will also record whether houses have access to BT’s exclusive 40Mbps Infinity broadband service, which is currently rolling out to homes throughout the UK.
Access to broadband is a postcode lottery
It’s no secret that the type and speed of broadband you can access depends on where you live, even for those within the same city. The service varies dramatically in London, for example, and the situation’s even worse if you dwell in a rural area.
Only today I was speaking to my broadband provider about switching to a faster connection. Yet, it told me that there’s no point as all the other providers in my area piggyback on BT’s infrastructure.
As the operator explained it – switching wouldn’t change either the price or the speed.
Does broadband affect your buying decision?
I’m not about to sell up on the promise of better broadband. I’m far too happy with my view of the South Downs and the Jack and Jill windmills. And my daughter loves the local village school.
However, if we did decide to move, I’d welcome the chance to check out my broadband options as part of the house’s particulars.
For me, broadband is as essential a service as electricity, gas and mains plumbing. I rely on it for my job (I work from home one day a week) and, apart from that, I couldn’t live without the BBC iPlayer, which depends on a decent internet connection.
In the meantime, I welcome Rightmove’s tool, which I hope will make it easier for the general public to see the types of broadband services they can access in their areas.
Moreover, since local businesses and home owners increasingly rely on the internet, rubbish speeds could drive them away from particular areas. If so, hopefully it will put greater pressure on local councils to make the government deliver on its promise to roll out decent broadband to all UK residents – regardless of where they live.