Study: Fiber internet availability increases home values


Fiber internet will soon be available in the Jasper area, and home values could see a rise thanks to that availability, according to officials with the City of Jasper, Alabama Power and C Spire.

The three stakeholders in the announced fiber partnership recently met with the Daily Mountain Eagle to discuss the positives of fiber to homes and businesses with a boost in home values being one of those positives.

Ben Moncrief, C Spire senior vice president of strategic relations, said a study from 2015 showed fiber availability may increase a home’s value by up to 3.1 percent. The boost to the value of a typical home -- $5,437 -- is roughly equivalent to adding a fireplace, half of a bathroom or a quarter of a swimming pool to the home.

“That’s just having fiber to the home available in the neighborhood,” Moncrief said. 

The study, which was conducted by the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas,  adds to a growing list of others showcasing the consumer benefits from widespread access to fiber broadband Internet. There have been a number of studies linking broadband networks and new investments in such networks to improved economic performance. And the speed and reliability fiber provides offer further benefits. Most recently, in 2014, the FTTH Council released a study finding higher per capita GDP in communities where gigabit Internet was available. Infrastructure investment, job creation, entrepreneurship, and companies relocating or expanding to your city are all manifestations of this growth. Today’s study found that, for homes where 1 gigabit-per-second broadband was available, transaction prices were over 7 percent higher than homes located where the highest speed available is 25 Mbps or lower. The study also showed that more buyers were choosing where they lived based on access to reliable broadband.

“If we have a chance to take our city to the next level, it is by making improvements upward in the area of technology,” Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said. “In order to recruit 21st Century industries, fiber is a must. We wanted to be on the cutting edge of getting the highest possible speed internet to home and businesses in our city. This partnership is allowing us to do that, and it will pay dividends in a variety of ways.”

A Broadband Experience Index was released in late 2019 by the Fiber Broadband Association to give customers a more comprehensive and reliable methodology for comparing broadband services in real-world applications rather than only measuring broadband based on speeds. Based on its analytical methodology, the Index determined that fiber is providing the “best in class” consumer broadband experience. 

“We all know that a consumer’s broadband experience is about more than just download speed, especially with all the video and high-speed apps consumers are using. That’s why the Fiber Broadband Association teamed with RVA, LLC to develop the Broadband Experience Index. And, it is no surprise that consumers prefer fiber,” said Lisa R. Youngers, president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association. “Fiber provides the fastest, most reliable connection to the Internet. Consumers depend on their Internet connection for video streaming, staying connected to their favorite devices, video chatting with loved ones, and connecting to the cloud. Only fiber can consistently meet the demands of consumers in the 21st century.”