Real Estate Players Derive Specific Benefits from FTTH

  • FTTH Council Europe
BRUSSELS - In the real estate market, there is a great deal of interest in fiber to the home (FTTH) as a means of making properties more attractive, but for many, its added value and financial benefits are unclear. With this in mind, the FTTH Council Europe commissioned a study among real estate firms who have experience with high-speed fiber-optic connections.

A Closer Look at the Survey Results
Real estate players all stated they had derived specific benefits from FTTH and were "very satisfied." Landlords clearly stated that providing FTTH made their accommodation more attractive and served to increase income. In social housing, the take-up rates for fiber-based access services could reach 50 percent in one year, which is significantly higher than in the private market. According to study participant West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative (WWHC), a Scottish social housing developer, "Today, 78 percent of the 100 homes on the greenfield site have subscribed to FTTH."

Building owners also used the network to improve efficiency, using electronic services to replace letters in landlord-tenant interactions, and to control the heating and security systems. Participant Svenska Bstader of Böstader Lokaler, a Swedish housing developer, states: "It used to be difficult for us to identify heating leaks. With the fiber-enabled monitoring system, we can intervene immediately. Over a year, for 30,000 homes, we estimate it saves us around $160,000."

FTTH Innovations Keep Elderly at Home Longer
Today, each generation lives longer, but we are also less enthusiastic about the idea of moving into care homes. FTTH can facilitate a large number of innovations - such as video monitoring and communications systems - that allow the elderly to live independently far longer. And housing corporations and landlords can charge a premium for services in the area of healthcare and elderly care. This is also the case with small business owners or company employees who wish to work from home regularly, without sacrificing the benefits of their regular office infrastructure. Supplying fast broadband connections that support high download and upload speeds can provide real estate providers with an extra source of revenue, whilst boosting the attractiveness and image of their properties.

FTTH Contributes to Customer Satisfaction

For housing companies, especially social housing, there are also huge potential benefits in customer satisfaction. "A few years ago, we ranked really low in customer satisfaction amongst social housing companies," explains Böstader. "Now we're in the Top 5. It may not be just fiber broadband, but its certainly part of the story."

FTTH Enables Energy Efficient Homes
FTTH also enables more energy efficient homes. PFC2, a housing developer in the Netherlands who who took part in the survey, has even pioneered a carbon-neutral home concept, where all computing power for PCs and other intelligent devices has been moved to the cloud. "To meet the energy requirements, we needed minimal processing power requirements inside the home. Only FTTH gave us good enough response times for all computing intelligence to be in the cloud."

All survey participants agreed that FTTH can make properties more marketable and profitable. PFC2 stated that, "despite the down market since 2008, fibered projects have sold well." Specific factors include the ability to combine communications with metering and other utilities, to make homes more energy-efficient, to support professionals working from home and to enable services for healthcare, elderly care or on-demand content. Ensuring that a rich and relevant service portfolio is available can serve to boost uptake.

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