Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lack of Broadband Access Further Depresses Property Values

Today we encountered a prime example of how the refusal of telecomm companies to adequately serve rural Americans with broadband is hitting home, literally. We spoke with a family that is having to sell their home and move just so they can get the broadband connectivity they need to continue their business and maintain their livelihood.

As if the perpetration of a giant sub-prime Ponzi scheme by the banks had not done enough damage to property values we are now seeing a rising tide of property devaluations due to a lack of broadband. Driving this trend are the following factors:
  1. A growing expectation of broadband access in all sectors of commerce and government. It is now normal to expect someone with whom you do business to be able to watch a video online, attend a webinar, log into the company network remotely, and download large files, all activities that are impossible without broadband.
  2. A growing realization that satellite Internet service, the connection of last resort in rural areas, is not really broadband at all. For example, it does not reliably support any of those 4 essential business activities in trend 1.
  3. A growing education gap is emerging in which children and adults without broadband access are being left behind, in K-12 and further education, not to mention distance learning. 
While trends 1 and 2 affect the ability of rural residents to conduct business on a level playing field or work remotely, trend 3 affects the entire family, sealing the fate of homes in areas without broadband access. The market for homes that lack broadband access is shrinking rapidly. The downward pressure on valuations will only continue.

No comments:

Post a Comment