The need for speed - Martins Estates

The need for speed

Superfast broadband now more important to home buyers than good transport links and nice neighbours

With most of us now using multiple digital devices and streaming everything from films and music to computer games and powerpoint presentations, fast internet connectivity is as important to sustaining our lives as running water and electricity.

So-called “smart homes” with superfast broadband are at the centre of a new turf war in housing as developers race to serve up high-fibre flats for the digital age.

More than two thirds of people check the available broadband speed before moving home, according to a survey by Rightmove, while fast broadband is given higher priority than local transport links, nice neighbours, outside space, room for a gym — or even an extra bedroom.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom says the amount of internet data used by people in the UK is growing by about half every year. Increasingly, people are opting for home automation systems that control heating, security and lighting as well as entertainment, and all these function better if the underlying connectivity is fast. And for people running a business from home, it can be make or break.