Broadband access is a question that every house buyer should consider. It is easy to take broadband for granted, but if you are buying a rural property you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Wot, No Broadband?
Really; no telephone, no TV, no mobile reception, not even any radio and certainly no broadband. This was the situation I found when I moved into my dream home in the country. (There is no mains water, gas or sewage connection either.)
I had always had broadband since its inception because I lived in a series of towns. It had never even occurred to me to ask the estate agent about broadband. I just assumed that I could get it over the phone line.
Never assume. It turned out that the local exchange is not modern enough to handle ADSL connections and even if it is ever upgraded I live more than 5Km away from it, so my line is NEVER going to carry a broadband signal.
Back to Dial-Up
Six weeks after moving in I finally got the phone line reconnected. I tried dial-up, once, and only then appreciated how broadband had changed my life.
From 2006 – 2010 I had no Internet connection. I had a life instead; I spent time in the garden and on home maintenance jobs on my days off work. Then in 2010 I was made redundant.
I was 58 years old, so my chances of a real-world job were slim. My only option was going to be to find an online job, but I would need a broadband Internet connection first. I invested £1000 of my redundancy pay in a satellite broadband system that cost me £50 a month for a 2Mb connection that had a usage cap of 4Gb a month, not a lot.
It still changed my life though. Two years later I have three virtual jobs that, between them, pay me a full-time wage.
Ask the Question
“Does this house have broadband?” Ask it of every house you are looking at, of every estate agent. They will never volunteer the fact that there is no broadband Internet connection, so you have to ask.
“Is there any mobile signal?” is another question you need to find the answer to. Town-dwellers take mobile reception for granted. In the unlikely event that you have a good mobile signal then you might be able to make do with a 3G Internet connection from your mobile network.
There are solutions nowadays, at a price. Satellite broadband is not good but it has come down in price and it works most of the time. I still pay £50 a month, but my speed is now a true 8Mb/sec and I now have an 8Gb/month usage cap. You cannot watch video, use gaming sites or listen to online music on a satellite connection because of the usage cap, but you can browse and use email sixteen hours a day.