Is Broadband a real estate issue?

Do you think we'll reach a tipping point where 'broadband' stops being a technology issue and becomes a real estate issue instead?

This is a thought that has struck me a few times in the last 15 years or so. The reason is that good fixed line broadband is basically binary, you either have it or you don't. If you have it then you have a range of options that simply aren't available if you don't.

I was very lucky, I had awesome fixed line broadband at the turn of the century (the 21st century) both at home and at my business.

I was a 'Saturn' cable modem triallist on the Kapiti Coast and I had a 100mb/s CityLink fibre connection at my office.

And that was when I realised that this would ultimately have to turn into a real estate issue, can you imagine buying a house without power, water or road access? Not likely unless you are after an 'off the grid' getaway.

I think good fixed line broadband is now crossing over into being a staple of a modern lifestyle. Yet my experience has been that on the whole the real estate industry is woeful when it comes to the knowledge of available connectivity.

I once briefed real estate agents and was quite specific about being on the Saturn network was a mandatory condition, for me connectivity trumps the view. I have had the same experience with commercial letting agents who didn't understand what a 'fibre' connected office was!

So I was intrigued when I recently read an article on the woes of the internet in the US, its good to see that we're actually doing somethings right. But on piece struck me:

Fiber is actually one of the best investments a homeowner can make. While it may cost up to $3,000 to bring fiber to your home, studies have shown that the value of your home will rise from $5,000 to $10,000. You will not get that return from remodeling a kitchen or adding a new deck.

This is actually a good sign and one that I hope CFH and the LFC's pick up on, local councils too as this will lead to increased rates income. At the moment all our homes aren't smart or truly connected but that is starting to change, as things like UFB connections become the new normal we will want our houses to be smart.

It's hard to imagine not having electricity, well its going to be the same for bandwidth, when architects, developers, councils, builders and electricians all plan a homes connectivity (both external and internal) as part of the core systems and not an add on.

We hear that consents are holding up the UFB, MDU's (multi dwelling units - flats & apartments) are a nightmare and I think this is because we still see the fibre upgrade as a luxury or a discretionary choice.

30 years ago it was simple, phone, power and water were basic utilities, whats changed?