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Can Housing Developers follow Customer Demand better?

Working in telecoms is equally exciting and challenging at times. It is proven that customers demand a fast, reliable connection available as soon as they move into their new homes. Sounds perfectly reasonable in today’s day and age, right? But why then, in a lot of cases, aren’t adequate networks being installed?

GoCompare has now ranked broadband as #5 in the Top 20 must haves for home buyers, up 3 positions from a couple of years ago. With that in mind, it would seem prudent to install an AltNet alongside the standard incumbent networks whenever possible.

Although the standard part-fibre connection may be more or less sufficient at the moment, WIK Consult who conducted an extensive research on behalf of Ofcom, reported that by 2025, UK households will require at least 1 Gb/s download and 600 Mb/s upload speeds to accommodate the rise of the streaming media and smart home connections.

Guaranteeing these speeds, especially uncontended, on the current infrastructure for every household is not just a challenge, it is impossible. Fibre optic cables are indeed being deployed by the incumbent networks, however only part way. This drastically reduces the bandwidth, speed and reliability expected in the future.

An example for this is video streaming which has overwhelmingly taken over from live TV. For the UK alone, Ofcom reported that in 2018 streaming services like Netflix and Amazon surpassed more traditional TV Entertainment. This phenomenon calls for a better infrastructure of full fibre Point-to-Point connections to accommodate growing bandwidth demand.

This is easier said than done though. The current copper network across the UK doesn’t allow for fast or cost-effective upgrade to facilitate full fibre deployment. Another reason is the housing developers’ willingness to look beyond the current requirements and work to futureproof the homes they build.

A lot has changed in the past few years. Quite a few AltNet providers have sprung up to tackle this issue. However, a big miscommunication between AltNets and developers would certainly lead the housing developer to think that installing any AltNet is better than just going with the incumbent network.

This may ring true, though most alternative networks are connecting to Openreach for backhaul, which inevitably impacts the delivery timescales and overall expected service levels.

In our experience, the biggest obstacle to developers not going ahead with installing more than one network on site is the perceived additional work and cost needed. Telecoms is therefore at the back of the list of priorities.

We are working hard to tackle this concern by flipping everything about the traditional telecoms delivery upside down. We deliver a full fibre Point-to-Point connection, uncontended, with almost unlimited capacity and completely independent from other providers. This allows us to manage our backhaul, offsite works and timescales to tackle the biggest pain point for new home buyers – having live and ready connection from the moment they move in. And a true hassle free experience for the developer.

I personally viewed a house on a new build development just last week, hoping to move in when the new homes are ready for 2021. Speaking with some of the residents to get a feel for the area and development, we found out they didn’t have broadband for more than a month and a half! I love the house, but the thought of no connection for that long really does puts me off.

And I am sure this is the experience most new home buyers have. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just think, what if you as a housing developer could do things differently and provide that extra little thing that won’t cost you a penny, but will mean peace of mind for your customers and customer service team – less complaints, happier customers.

If you’d like to connect, send me a message on gergana@grainconnect.com and let’s talk about how we can help or just have a chat.

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