The well-connected home sells faster
A recent survey shows that a strong mobile phone signal and fast wi-fi connections can really add to a home's buyer appeal. Mobile phone company RootMetrics found 54 per cent of house hunters were put off buying when connectivity was poor, rising to a 64 per cent in switched-on London. Meanwhile, 48 per cent of renters would resist a property with slow wi-fi.
Property specialist and TV presenter Sofie Allsopp, younger sister of Kirstie, says: "Mobile coverage is not a deal-breaker, but we increasingly take it for granted that we'll get reception and, quite often, that's not the case."
Remote areas are less likely to be efficient. In her mother-in-law's home in Scotland, Allsopp can only get reception in the bathroom. "The house is remote, but it reminded me what a pain it is when you can't get a signal. The mobile is a necessity for both my working and social lives."
RootMetrics has developed an app so that potential buyers and renters can check mobile coverage in properties they view.
While landline use is falling fast — down 10 per cent in 2011, according to regulator Ofcom — the arrival of superfast 4G mobile phones means many people will soon be using their handsets to download music and films and for online shopping, as well as home working.
London's best connected
Inner city: Hackney and the borough of Kensington & Chelsea are in the top group for download speeds.
Go north: in Enfield, only 2.7 per cent of calls failed in tests, as opposed to 8.6 per cent in Tower Hamlets and 8.9 per cent in Harrow.
Rise in the east: Havering has a call failure rate of 3.4 per cent — less than half Greenwich's 7.8 per cent.
Up west: Kensington & Chelsea beat neighbours Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster in the tests.
Outer ring: don't assume suburbs are slow. Sutton has the fastest average speed.
In the City: surprisingly, the RootMetrics survey found the Square Mile has the slowest speeds for both downloading and uploading data. But the City of London is tackling the problem — and is now the UK's first borough to get free public broadband, as a result of a deal with wi-fi provider The Cloud.
Faster commuter zones
The best connectivity speeds were found in Blackwood Ave in Chingford Mount, where O2 recorded 12.95 megabits per second.
Snodland in Kent was speedier than it sounds with two tests recording 7.3 megabits on Three's network.
Chelmsford, Maidstone and Guildford have significantly slower mobile internet (all networks) than Watford, Slough and Dorking.
Visit RootMetrics at rootmetrics.com