David Walker, Head of Property at Hyperoptic, explains how ‘full fibre’ can help ensure a customer’s broadband expectations are delivered.
Ten years ago, a resident’s broadband provision wouldn’t have been a consideration for housebuilders. Residents would have a broadband post-code lottery and would live with what was available to them. Today’s discerning digital mover is not as accepting. Connectivity is a critical consideration in our daily lives and when residents move in if fast, reliable broadband connections are not available, you’ll have vocal, unhappy buyers on your hands.
According to research by Think Broadband, one in eight new properties have speeds so slow they fall below the Government’s minimum requirement – and four in ten are still being built without fibre broadband. The good news is that leading developers are addressing connectivity and setting the standard residents expect.
Lighting fast speeds
With new properties there is an opportunity to get it right from the start by giving residents the option of subscribing to the ‘gold standard’ of broadband – full fibre. Unlike ‘part fibre’ services, where fibre only goes to the green box and the connection into the home is over copper, ‘full fibre’ goes right into the property so residents can surf with web at lightning fast speeds, with no peak-time slowdowns, buffering and frustrating timeouts.
Connectivity is a critical consideration in our daily lives
Currently only 8% of the UK has access to full fibre, so it can be a real selling point. According to a new survey of 2,115 UK homeowners by Broadband Choices, nearly two thirds’ (62%) of movers would be willing to increase the value of an offer on a house if it was “guaranteed” to deliver “superfast broadband” speeds and 25% of those would increase their offer by £3000-£5000, while 10% said they’d go over £5,000.
The key is to make sure that the resident has this service from day one. Achieving this can be difficult as it requires close on-site cooperation and planning with clients and contractors alike, however the benefits make it worthwhile – a resident that moves in and immediately starts ‘living’ isn’t going to be in a negative frame of mind with loads of time to look for problems.
In our experience delivering a 99% rate for day-one connectivity for developer clients there are some clear recommendations that we would suggest. Far from being an add-on at the end of the build process, the installation of full fibre should begin as part of the specification process. There should be ongoing communication between the broadband provider and the on-site teams to ensure that installation forms part of the project and timescales are shared.
Ultimately getting full fibre connectivity from day one should not be a cost to developers – Hyperoptic can provide cost neutral installations, it just requires foresight, communication and cooperation. The benefits of giving the movers access to the fastest connectivity from the moment they move in speak for themselves, and crucially the site will be digitally future-proofed for decades to come.