As if you didn’t have enough to think about when moving home, there’s now another item to add to the extensive list: checking broadband at your new home.
For home buyers and renters broadband is an increasingly important feature. Broadband Genie recently surveyed over 1,000 people and found that 78% would be put off renting or purchasing a property if the broadband was slow, and 28% would be willing to pay more for better broadband. But despite this, just 30% of those who answered our survey had researched broadband prior to their last home move.
Other studies also demonstrate just how important broadband has become when it comes to property. The LSE examined 15 years of data and discovered that doubling broadband speeds came with an average price rise of 3%. In addition, a study by Rightmove found that homes with slow broadband could lose up 20% of their value.
It’s not just home buyers that should be considering broadband speed. Anyone wanting to sell or let a property should also consider this a crucial feature.
Checking broadband speed
Thankfully, it’s very quick and easy to find out what type of broadband is available in any particular area and get an idea of the kind of speed you can expect.
Internet service providers can check availability, but we would not recommend this unless you were set on using them as your provider because they will only inform you about the services they provide. Instead, get an unbiased look at coverage by using the tools at SamKnows.
SamKnows maintains a database of exchanges around the country. Search a location and you can see what services are available in the area and check broadband coverage at a particular address.
When checking coverage to a home use both a postcode and phone number whenever possible. This will tell you precisely what type of broadband can be installed at an address; if a search is carried out with a postcode only it does not guarantee availability.
By knowing what types of broadband are on offer, you can instantly get an idea of the possible speeds. ADSL goes “up to” 17Mb (but keep in mind it is frequently slower and only gets worse the further a property is from the exchange). Fibre broadband is a lot better , with maximum speeds of up to 38Mb, 52Mb or 76Mb on BT lines, and up to 200Mb with Virgin Media. The actual performance of fibre is also typically much closer to the “up to” maximum, so it’s good news all round if this is available at your current or future home.
One final note about broadband speed - if you’re experiencing slow internet it’s worth pursuing this with the ISP. Any provider which has agreed to Ofcom’s voluntary code of practice must investigate complaints. When signing up to a service you should always be given an accurate speed estimate, and should performance fall far below this the ISP is obliged to take steps to fix it. If they are unable to do so, you have the right to switch to a cheaper package or cancel your contract without penalty.
with thanks to Broadband Genie editor, Matt Powell