BT has announced a £6bn investment in broadband and 4G coverage to ensure that the ultrafast Openreach service is extended to at least 10 million homes and businesses across the UK by 2020.
In total, 2 million homes will receive the aforementioned fibre-to-the-premises broadband, while the remaining 10 million will be served by upgrades to existing copper infrastructure.
“It’s no surprise that more and more importance is being placed on broadband as a key consideration when people are buying and selling a home,” said Adam Male, founder of Urban.co.uk. “With such a difference in speed between locations, the question really now is – how long before it starts pushing up house prices?”
In March, the government struck a deal with BT-owned Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to ensure that all new build homes are delivered with superfast broadband installed.
The deal means fibre-based broadband will be offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative.
“Broadband connectivity is just one thing that homebuyers now expect when buying a new build, so this industry-led push to make superfast, or indeed ultrafast, broadband speeds available by default in new homes represents a very important step in meeting the UK’s digital needs,” said Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey.
The installation of fibre broadband should help to increase the attractiveness of new build homes, ensuring that “new build purchasers benefit from the very best connectivity to go alongside the many other advantages of purchasing a brand new home”, according to Stewart Baseley (below), the executive chairman of the HBF.