Broadband and the British national obsession

By: John McGarvey

Date: 26 March 2014

Broadband and the British national obsession/House keys - Broadband included?{{}}Well now. Here’s a news story that marries broadband speeds (one of the IT Donut’s own obsessions) with one of the Great British public’s favourite topics of conversation.

You see, property listings website Rightmove has released research suggesting that slow or non-existent broadband could wipe to 20% off the price of a house.

Cue — obviously — a story in the Daily Mail, complete with ropey stock photography and everything.

Broadband is the fourth utility

Even if you doubt the specifics of this research (a 20% reduction sounds like an awful lot), it certainly backs up the idea that broadband is fast becoming the fourth utility.

And it’s true: we treat our internet connections like turning on the lights or central heating. When we need it to get online, we expect to be able to do so.

A reminder for your business

The Rightmove story was released because the property firm has now added a broadband checker to its own website, to tell you what sort of connection you should get at a house you’re interested in.

But it provides an interesting reminder about the increasing importance of the web in our lives.

We spend more time online than ever. We’re connected not just at home, but nearly wherever we go. We’re buying things when we’re on the move.

If we’re at a point where broadband availability ranks alongside off-street parking, good schools and public transport links as factors in house desirability, surely it’s time to make the internet more central to your company, too.

In short, if you’re running a business — any sort of business — and you’re not thinking regularly about how the internet can help you, you’re missing a trick.

More than just a website

The internet is so ingrained in our lives that it’s not enough to build a website and leave it at that.

You need to stay up to date with new developments, like Google’s continued efforts to appeal to target mobile ads by location, or the fact that showrooming is rife. Is there any way you can turn these — and other — trends to your advantage?

You don’t need to transform how you do business. Nor do you need to panic.

But these days, people tend to turn to the internet first, no matter what they’re looking for. That creates new threats, and new opportunities. Are you ready to take advantage?

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