Internet connectivity is a fundamental part of creating a connected home. Grain Connect’s Managing Director Rich Robinson explores the importance of the fourth utility.
A growing trend among homebuyers is the shift towards the need for smarter, more functional, well connected homes. Not only do we want our homes to look good and be structurally sound, buyers want to be guaranteed that their new home will be connected to the fastest possible broadband available, allowing for a seamless transition when they move in.
According to a 2016 GoCompare survey, more than 75% of buyers consider broadband to be the ‘fourth utility’ – up there with, and equally essential to, water, gas and power. What’s more, a third (36%) of buyers go so far to say that they simply could not live without the internet. With high-speed broadband now ranked as the latest ‘must have’ for homebuyers, the issue for developers is how to keep up with this change of pace without adding another layer of management and process to getting the job done.
A lot of complaints from buyers of new-build homes are around being left with no broadband for weeks, if not months, after they move in. Developers tell us that the average time customers wait to get connected – when there is no pre-arranged connection – is between six weeks and 18 months after they move in. From a customer’s perspective, this is simply unacceptable. A connection delay of this extent could be very costly to the developer both from a resource and reputational perspective.
“Our main goal is to deliver the service customers will be happy with – gigabit connection to their homes on the day they move in.”
Although it can be done at an accelerated pace, we encourage developers to give us six months warning before the start of a new site so we can work together with the site project managers aligning our processes. Our main goal is to deliver the service customers will be happy with – gigabit connection to their homes on the day they move in.
It could even be the case that, if a new community is not connected on day one, the developers will experience a delayed purchase. In extreme circumstances, there have even been a few litigation cases opened by customers who didn’t feel they were delivered the broadband service appropriate with the times we live in.
Deliver on-time and on-budget
Factors that impact the build process include working closely with the developers and ensuring the ducts network is in-line with the CAD drawings, and that the ducts are laid on time. Working closely with the sales suite to inform potential buyers what technology the houses are equipped with, liaising with the engineers pulling the fibre to the routers and installing them in each home are all imperative in the process to delivery.
It is highly important to be involved in the whole project and work together. This enables us to deliver gigabit broadband direct line from the internet to the router in each home more efficiently.