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Download speeds influencing home buying in NI - BT survey

Press release   •   Apr 30, 2018 12:58 BST

More than half of 18-35-year-olds surveyed said they would check broadband speeds before buying a property

‘Location, location, location’ is usually the most commonly used phrase when it comes to property searches. However, having access to good broadband speeds is now up there as one of the deciding factors for prospective homebuyers and tenants in Northern Ireland, according to a new survey* commissioned by BT’s NI Networks.

 The results of the survey revealed that three out of five people (63%) said that having fibre broadband in their household was very important, rising to seven out of 10 (71%) among 18 to 35-year olds. The survey also showed that six out of ten people (60%) would be put off from a property when moving to a new house because of poor or slow broadband.

As people across NI make increasing use of their broadband - with nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents being online for between 4 and 6 hours a day and close to half (41%) for more than 6 hours a day - the survey also shows that many people are doing their homework and checking available broadband speeds before they move.

More than half (60%) of 18-35-year-old respondents, who make up the bulk of future homeowners, stated that they would check broadband speeds in advance of buying a property. 54% of those in this age bracket also said they would pay ‘a lot or a little’ more for property if it had access to Superfast fibre broadband, showing the importance of internet speeds for people in the region.

There is also now a much greater awareness of the types of broadband available in Northern Ireland, with almost eight out of ten people aware of Superfast** and just under half aware of the latest Ultrafast*** broadband which can deliver speeds of 100 Mbps (megabits per second) and above.

Frank McManus, BT’s Head of Wholesale Sales and Marketing in Northern Ireland, said: “The survey shows how important fibre broadband has become to peoples’ everyday lives, with only a tiny fraction, just 4 per cent of households with broadband, now being online for less than an hour each day.

“As the use of broadband continues to grow – with 82 per cent using it for social media at least several times a week, 80 per cent for email, 63 per cent for watching films or TV and 58 per cent for downloading or streaming music - understanding what greater download speeds can deliver is critical.

“Better download speeds make all these activities faster and, with more people within households using devices, from smart TVs and laptops to phones and gaming consoles, speed and reliability are essential if you don’t want to slow down other users in the home.”

Samuel Dickey MRICS, Partner at Simon Brien Residential, said: “It has been interesting to review the survey findings as they very much align with our day-to-day experience. We are seeing an increase in buyer enquiries about broadband speeds, as so many people rely on fast internet in their everyday lives. Whether working from home, shopping online, gaming and entertainment, fast internet is crucial for the enjoyment of your property.

“Some buyers rate this requirement higher than transport links. We would like to see more of Northern Ireland have access to fibrebroadband at the very least to facilitate the advances in technology for smart homes.”

For more information and to find out how to get connected visit the website, which is responsible for promoting awareness of fibre broadband availability across Northern Ireland and which represents almost all NI communications providers.


Notes to Editors

*The survey was conducted by FN Research in February 2018 through face-to-face interviews with people aged over 18 across Northern Ireland, with a sample size of 258.

**Superfast broadband In the UK is defined as a connection with download speeds of 24Mb or above.

***Ultrafast broadband services are defined as offering download speeds of 100Mbps and above. A single HD movie stream typically requires 5Mbps.

For further information please contact Rosy Billingham, PR Manager for BT in Northern Ireland, on 028 9021 4174 or email