Fiber optic internet is the broadband technology of the 21st century: fast, reliable, and perfect for data-intensive applications like streaming and gaming. However, even in areas where fiber is available, many homeowners have yet to take the plunge on installing it. One possible reason: They want to maximize the value of their home improvements, and they’re not sure whether adding fiber to the home (FTTH) service is a good fit for their property.
If you’re a homeowner considering getting fiber installed, it’s reasonable to ask: Does fiber broadband increase home value? Faster internet is obviously great, but will your investment in fiber pay returns when it’s time to sell your property? Here’s what you need to know about fiber broadband and how it might affect the value of your home.
Most of today’s home buyers consider high speed internet a must-have. Over a third of Americans work remotely some or all of the time, making broadband a genuine necessity to support many people’s livelihoods. And when it comes to leisure activities like streaming TV and gaming, broadband is just as essential for play as it is for work.
Thus, it’s no surprise that internet connectivity is something many home buyers care about. One UK study found that broadband quality is one of buyers’ top priorities in searching for a new home. Other research has suggested that lack of broadband internet access can have a substantial downward effect on a property’s value. Now more than ever, lack of internet access can bring someone’s whole lifestyle to a halt.
Cable internet is still almost half of the broadband internet market, and it offers acceptable performance for most people. However, fiber broadband has several major benefits that cable just can’t match:
- Fiber offers symmetrical upload and download speeds. Most cable connections have upload speeds significantly lower than their download speed, which can be a problem for upload-dependent applications like video conferencing.
- Fiber is highly resistant to many common pitfalls that can make cable service unreliable. Because its transmission medium is glass rather than metal, fiber is impervious to electromagnetic interference from weather conditions. It also maintains its speed during peak periods of local use, unlike cable internet, which can slow down during internet “rush hour.”
- Fiber is extraordinarily easy to scale. Most fiber networks currently use only a small percentage of their rated data capacity. When you need more speed in the future, fiber will have it waiting for you.
With upsides like that, it’s easy to see why home buyers might look for fiber internet access as part of their checklist. But do those benefits translate into actual increased valuations?
According to some research, yes, it could. Studies by universities and industry trade groups have found that adding fiber to the home (FTTH) could help increase the value of your property by up to 3 percent. That could mean thousands of dollars more in your pocket when you sell your home, all by making a change that will benefit you and your family right now.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the housing market. These studies aren’t necessarily conclusive evidence, and there are many potential ways to add value to your home. Overall, however, the data points to fiber as a smart investment for homeowners — and, as we mentioned previously, it’s possible that homes without broadband connections may go for slightly lower prices.
Perhaps the smartest way to think about fiber is one more amenity, like a deck or a pool, that helps justify a higher asking price for a home. Not every buyer will be interested in fiber — but enough will that buyers may be willing to pay more overall for a home with fiber, so long as its other amenities are also up to speed.
Whether or not it raises the value significantly, fiber almost certainly won’t hurt the value of your home. Thus, the most important question is whether a fiber connection is right for you and your family. If faster and more reliable internet is a priority for you, and fiber is available in your area, it’s among the most impactful quality-of-life upgrades you can make.
Some people can see especially strong benefits from upgrading to fiber, including:
- Remote Workers: A fiber connection’s robust upload speeds make video conferencing and remote collaboration silky-smooth.
- Gamers: Gamers who need lag-free performance will love the ultra-low-latency connection that fiber offers.
- Media Enthusiasts: Constantly streaming movies and TV in 4K or even 8K? Fiber internet makes it easy to stream whatever you want, whenever you want it.
- Tech Lovers: Fiber could be ideal for your lifestyle if you’re experimenting with advanced tech like machine learning at home — or if you just prefer to have the latest technology.
- Future-Proofers: Fiber offers far more capabilities than other internet access technologies, making it a smart investment for those who want their home networks to stay current with the times.
If you’ve decided to wire your home for fiber, the first step is to find fiber internet providers in your area. Unfortunately, fiber isn’t yet available in all areas, and you’ll need at least one fiber provider that serves your address to install a fiber connection.
The good news is that fiber is on its way to an ever-expanding number of American neighborhoods. Over 50 percent of US households now have access to fiber, so even if fiber hasn’t been an option in the past, it’s worth checking again. If you’re not sure if a certain ISP serves your address, contact them by phone, email, or live chat.
The actual process of installing fiber doesn’t require much from you. Usually, you’ll just need to be present to let your ISP’s installer in. The process typically takes a few hours, since new fiber cable often needs to be laid. Sometimes your technician might have to make a return visit, but you’ll almost always be able to use your new connection as soon as it’s installed.
Adding new amenities to your home is a time-honored way to increase its overall value and its appeal to buyers. Fiber internet is one improvement among many available to homeowners today — and it’s one that can boost not just the value of your home, but the quality of your lifestyle.
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