Does Your Signal Strength Measure Up
So, you’ve found your dream home in the sticks – it’s got the aga and the cosy fireplace you’ve always craved, there’s a great school nearby and the views are too die for… but how does it measure up on the strength of its broadband and mobile signal?
Once upon a time, a new bathroom, a kitchen-diner or a boot room were selling points for homes on the market – today, broadband speed has crept into the top ten list of things home buyers look for. And when you consider how the internet has infiltrated our daily lives, it’s no great surprise.
Technology has come a long way since the early days. At one time, you could only get a decent mobile phone service if you lived in the city and broadband speed in the countryside was slower than a snail in reverse. Thankfully, today things are beginning to speed up, thanks in part to the government’s pledges to improve broadband in rural areas by 2020, while Ofcom (the telecoms watchdog)’s recent report about poor mobile phone coverage in rural areas will see a shakeup of mobile phone coverage in 2019.
However, despite these good intentions, there will be some areas in the UK that are difficult to reach due to the local terrain. Our country is not a flat playing field – the valleys and hills give Britain its rich diversity of landscape but this causes problems for mobile phone and broadband providers. So much so that if your home is in a hidden dip or vale, mobile phone signals may skirt overhead or if you’re in a very isolated location, you may find yourself in a broadband blackspot.
The good news is that this is all set to change as mobile phone companies and broadband providers recognise and set about dealing with the problems.
EE is spending millions on researching potential new mast sites so that every household is covered and able to connect to at least 3G if not 4G networks within the next couple of years. Broadband providers are following government guidelines to ensure that every household has access to superfast fibre broadband, no matter the location, by 2020.
It’s a case of being patient and knowing that things will get better. However, in the meantime, there are ways to improve your signal strength with the use of plug-in boosters. It’s also worth remembering that the age of your house and the material it is built from both play a big part in signal strength. Old Cotswold stone houses, for example, have thick stone walls which could make WiFi signals patchy. If that is the case, you will need to hard wire your devices into the router rather than rely on WiFi alone.
While the strength of the broadband or mobile phone signal shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, it is increasingly becoming a topic of conversation for home-buyers. In any situation, it is best to know all the facts before you pay your deposit, so make sure you do your research. Here are some websites that will start you off…
- To check out the broadband speed in your chosen area, go to https://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk
- When it comes to broadband delivery , check out the government’s promises at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/broadband-delivery-uk
- To check your broadband and mobile phone availability, or to run a speed test on your broadband service, go to https://checker.ofcom.org.uk