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?

8 replies
  1. Hamish
    Hamish says:

    The issue is telecommunication wiring has no code or standards as such. Any new dweling would not get a coide of complinace if the electrical wiring was not staisfacory. No check of fibre/cat 6 wiring etc is ever required. Until it is mandatory builders/developers will go for the cheapest option unless instructed by the property owner. Stil a discretionary choice for most

  2. john Butt
    john Butt says:

    Actually not much has changed. 30 years ago it was extremely difficult to get architects to plan the installation of a phone. Most commercial building were wired for power automatically, but the phone was left to the occupier.
    Architects take some convincing to come out of their pencil and paper work styles 🙂

    • Chris O'Connell
      Chris O'Connell says:

      Thats really interesting, when you think about it most buildings aren’t that well wired either.
      I’m looking at the spaghetti junction I need to keep everything going!
      I guess no-one ever imagined that you’d ever want about 16 power outlets by your TV set! plus ethernet & 2 kinds of antenna connectors!
      Not to mention HDMI, USB and WiFi!

  3. Paul W
    Paul W says:

    I just hope that by the time that fiber arrives down my street connection is still free. I for one don’t want to pay $3000 or what ever to have it connected..

    • HSM
      HSM says:

      Paul – you are like many New Zealanders, you want world class broadband performance, but you don’t want to pay for it. Why is that and why do you think you should be entitled to get it installed free of charge?

      And please don’t reply that ‘I’m paying via my taxes’ or ‘the government is paying for it’, because, and I know that you will know this already, but the LFC’s are not being ‘given’ taxpayers money to roll fibre out; they are being ‘loaned’ taxpayers money via CFH either via direct repayments to CFH as connections are made or via equity in the LFC’s themselves which will return cash to the taxpayers coffers via eventual dividends.

      I really don’t understand the view that says ‘I am entitled to free connection to fibre’ and would like to understand it.

      • Paul W
        Paul W says:

        Well if fiber is put in and coper is pulled out I for one will not pay for the fiber install. Currently I believe that the connection is free ??

        • Simon
          Simon says:

          Fibre connections for standard installs are free, but only until 31 December 2019. At that point all bets are off. Chorus and the LFCs can charge thousands of dollars to install if they want…

          It’s for this reason I’ve got no time for people complaining about slow UFB uptake. A few media articles in 2018/2019 about this point will see near on EVERY home owner getting UFB while it’s still free!

          • Chris O'Connell
            Chris O'Connell says:

            You raise a good point about connections post 2019, I think Whangarei also shows the huge impact of the public perceiving that the build is done and the service is available.

            I’m assuming that no new copper is being installed, so new builds should just be UFB from now on?

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