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Revealed: The Best and Worst Places to Buy a House If You Want Fast Broadband

Posted 14 October 2019 by Nick Parkhouse

Fast broadband is now more important to homebuyers than living near a good school. Here are the top 10 places to buy...

Over the last ten years, the number of people working from home has almost doubled. Now, according to the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey, more than 1.54m people work from home for their main job – up from 884,000 ten years ago.

If you work from home, then often you’ll find that having a strong and fast broadband connection is essential for your job. And, it’s not the only reason that you might need speedy broadband at home. TV streaming giant Netflix has 11.6m subscribers in the UK, all using high-speed broadband to download and stream TV and movies.

Clearly, having a good broadband service is important. Indeed, Brits say that fast broadband is more important than a good school when choosing where to live. Keep reading for the results of this latest survey, and for the ten best – and worst – places to buy a home if you want fast broadband.

Fast broadband more important than a good school

We’ve previously looked at the five most important factors that buyers have when purchasing a new home.

While lower than average crime rates and good transport connections headed the list, 69% of respondents said that fast broadband was important to them.

The research found that:

  • 69% of people consider fast broadband connection an important factor when choosing a new area to live in
  • 78% said that a good internet connection is important to them due to accessing streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV

The survey also found that almost two-thirds of people (62%) said they would be willing to pay more for a home that is guaranteed to have a superfast broadband connection.

When choosing where to live, fast broadband is now more important than living close to good nurseries and schools, living near friends and relatives, and having shops and amenities nearby.

To establish the best places to buy a home if you want superfast broadband, the TV, broadband and mobile comparison site Broadband Choices analysed data on download speeds from Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report.

They also used their own research for 121 locations across the UK to reveal the best places to live for access to fast broadband.

The top 10 places to live for fast broadband are:

  • Hull – 87 Mbps
  • Swindon – 84 Mbps
  • Cleveland – 75 Mbps
  • Guildford – 72 Mbps
  • Nottingham – 69 Mbps
  • Watford – 65 Mbps
  • Sutton – 65 Mbps
  • Twickenham – 63 Mbps
  • Luton – 63 Mbps
  • Edinburgh – 63 Mbps

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The UK’s average download speed is 54.2 Mbps, however, the research shows that only 33% of locations across the UK benefit from download speeds faster than average.

For nearly ten years the government has focused on the roll-out of superfast broadband which, according to Ofcom, is now available in 95% of the UK.

However, while this may be the case, only 7% of the UK has access to full-fibre networks which means that most people will be left without a reliable superfast broadband connection.

Read: Does better broadband mean higher house prices?

The government is prioritising city centres, towns and businesses with a complete full-fibre rollout target of 2033. This could mean that those in rural communities may have to wait far longer for reliable access to superfast broadband – potentially slowing down the economic growth in these areas.

Mark Pocock, home comms expert at Broadband Choices says: “Despite the research offering a useful snapshot of the UK, most British consumers only become aware of what broadband speeds they should be getting after they have signed up for a deal.

“After all, nowadays, broadband speeds are vitally important. The new Prime Minister, for example, recognised the importance of faster broadband speeds in his

acceptance speech, and has pledged to deliver full-fibre broadband to every home in the UK by 2025.”

Considering that the average broadband speed in the UK is 54.2 Mbps, the following ten areas offer the slowest speeds in the UK:

  • Truro – 23 Mbps
  • Perth – 24 Mbps
  • Llandrindod Wells – 25 Mbps
  • Lerwick – 26 Mbps
  • Torquay – 27 Mbps
  • Galashiels – 27 Mbps
  • Lancaster – 28 Mbps
  • Dumfries – 28 Mbps
  • Aberdeen – 29 Mbps
  • Norwich – 30 Mbps

Mark adds: “To protect the productivity of the UK workforce, it’s vital that we continue to put pressure on councils and the government to achieve this goal. Indeed, of the four hundred UK council websites and Ofcom reports we looked at, in many areas those councils have failed to meet their own targets and hit their deadlines. All that said, households could make a significant impact on their speeds right now by shopping around for the best deals and knowing what speeds they are entitled to in the first place."

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