The Wednesday Word: Internet Speed, Home Values, and The Last Mile

It is no surprise that in the 21st century, connectivity to the internet impacts many facets of the economy. Because a fast internet connection is growing in importance, it is beginning to affect home values as well.

In “Study: Speedy Internet Boosts Home Values,” NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine discusses the impact of the lack of high speed internet on home values. The lack of high speed internet is a widespread issue that affects the entire country, especially in rural communities. The article states that “the impact with Internet speeds and home sales are often found to be most significant in rural areas where Internet speeds tend to show more fluctuations”. Because internet is a determining factor for homebuyers, this lack of connectivity is affecting the values of homes and even how some agents list homes.

This internet issue is particularly important in Western Massachusetts where underserved communities are still without high speed access. To try to tackle this issue local officials are trying to push for their own high speed networks. In a project dubbed “The Last Mile” the Massachusetts Broadband Institute has secured funding and engaged outside entities to bring high speed internet to the western part of the state. The Baker-Polito administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) capital budget includes an allocation of $19M to The Last Mile project.

Overall, the impact of Internet speeds is growing in the 21st century and is something for not only homebuyers but REALTORS® listing properties to consider. MAR leaders plan to meet with key state official to discuss ways in which the Association and REALTORS® can be helpful in ensuring the expansion of high speed internet to the underserved parts of the state.

Read the full article from REALTOR® Magazine.

Learn more about “The Last Mile” outreach and review the Baker-Polito administration’s capital budget.

(Please note: This blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; and Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel. Edited by Christine Howe, Public Policy and Finance Coordinator)