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Rightmove mulls adding broadband speeds to house listings

by Sarah Griffiths on 9 March 2011, 09:36

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

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Location, location, broadband

Rightmove property website is considering adding broadband speeds to its property listings as more house hunters place greater importance on high speed internet access.

The Telegraph has reported that Rightmove will buddy up with BT to list internet speeds for the 1 million homes advertised on its website.

However, when HEXUS called Rightmove it said: "We are looking into it but there is no partnership in place at the moment. We are investigating a number of things and are constantly looking for new ways to improve our website."

If Rightmove does go ahead with the plan, it is thought it will list broadband speeds alongside current essential information such as whether the property has a garage or garden as well as its number of bedrooms.

A spokeman at the company told The Telegraph: "Broadband is becoming one of the most, if not the most, important considerations for prospective buyers. Many people fall in love with a home only to find out it can only get really slow internet. By listing broadband speed with all the other property details buyers will be able to weed out homes that don't have high-speed access."

It also reported that Rightmove, which covers 90 percent of properties for sale in the UK, will list whether a home can receive BT's 40 Mbps Infinity broadband service.

The spokesman reportedly added: "As a leading UK website services like superfast broadband obviously interest us and we have recently looked into how it can benefit us, although we are not currently in any form of partnership with BT."

The news follows a survey last month that suggested reliable super-fast broadband access could increase UK house prices, as home-hunters take it into consideration when choosing their des res.

A poll by ISP Review discovered that nearly 2 thirds of Brits would think twice before purchasing a house without a fast broadband connection, while half of respondents said they would fork out more money for a home that had faster connectivity than their current broadband service.

It seems the link between buying houses and broadband is not only of interest to BT as Virgin Media has reportedly partnered with lots of independent estate agents to list whether or not properties are connected to its high-speed cable broadband network. 

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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This could be a bad thing I think - On speed reports (which I believe BT provide) I'm supposed to get 10Mb - I actually get 14Mb - Would I be able to get the correct speed added? If not this potentially affects my properties value. Could be opening themselves up to a lot of lawsuits?

Also does it mention cable speeds?
I also thnk it's a bad idea, for a different reason. I always ask what the broadband speeds are like when viewing a house, which puts me at a slight advantage. If other people forget to ask, or don't have the estimated speeds right under their noses, then they may be less likely to pursue the property, meaning I have a better chance of having my offer accepted.
If they use BT's information, or SamKnows etc then they are setting themselves up for a fall and plenty of complaints about misleading information and seller's complaining about having their prospects reduced.

BT/SamKnows think I should get around 4-5Mbps from a regular 8Mbps service, based on a facile straight line distance to exchange (~1.9Km), sadly the real cable length is ~5Km and I get 2Mbps on a good day, 1.5 on a bad one, from Be ADSL2+ as well. There is no Virgin cable, an Infinity probably won't be available on my street. 3G is also crap, I don't get it in my flat or on most of the surrounding land/streets.

I live in a reasonably nice area of North London, nevermind the countryside there are telecoms blackspots in what is supposedly one of the world's greatest cities in an area where you'd think there were plenty of people willing to pay extra for good service (including me).
Not good that there's the prospect of misleading/wrong/incomplete information. Perhaps not good for the majority of consumers? If not, probably only not good because of aforementioned chance of basing a housing decision on wrong information. Good for the website since it means more traffic to the site and thus more ad revenue.

Supposing the information is actually accurate, which may or may not be feasible, I think it would be a good thing for the majority of buyers, based on more information being better than less information. Not everyone, but most.
As for sellers - well, it will probably advantage some and disadvantage others. But at the end of the day, people will only pay what they think a house is worth, and if they care about broadband speeds enough to consider paying more for a house with faster speeds, they would have asked that anyway, so it probably won't have that much of an effect overall.

All IMO, of course.
BT/SamKnows think I should get around 4-5Mbps from a regular 8Mbps service, based on a facile straight line distance to exchange (~1.9Km), sadly the real cable length is ~5Km and I get 2Mbps on a good day, 1.5 on a bad one.

First of all thanks for the SamKnows website - I hadn't heard of it before but hear what you say about taking the info there with a large grain of salt.

Btw, how do you know that the ‘real’ cable length to your house is ~5Km? Just a guestimate? Calculated based on the speed you're getting? Or is there a website or person somewhere which can tell you? Thks