The role of broadband in later living


When attending a Women Leading Real Estate event, one of the discussions got me thinking about the extent to which connectivity is of importance to those in later living accommodation.

Penny Hughes, chairman of Riverstone Living, highlighted some key areas when it comes to later living. She mentioned that people of an older generation want more from their later living and stated that most individuals past their retirement age continue to work.

Without sounding naïve, most people can agree that when we think of the older population, using the internet is not the first thing to come to mind. However, broadband provides a crucial way for tech-savvy older individuals to keep connected with the rest of the world.

With a global pandemic and people unable to leave their homes, essential tasks such as shopping or banking online, booking GP appointments, setting reminders (e.g. to take medication), communicating with friends and family, listening to music/watching films and finding information were done so mainly from an online platform.

I reached out to Penny, and she shared that her team have done research on smart home technology for later living. Penny disclosed that:

“Following in-depth analysis of current usage and future appeal of smart home technology, a Riverstone report found that a significant majority of respondents (83%) value smart home technology and would like to be able to use either voice activation or a control pad for at least one activity, with preferences ranging from home entertainment through to managing the home or to access health and well-being support services.

The analysis revealed a strong engagement with internet-based activities, ranging from general searches, email, shopping and staying in touch, with 76% currently using either voice activation or a control pad for at least one activity, most commonly for entertainment and moderating the heating/air conditioning within the home.  Whilst a control pad was named as the preferred mode of control (78% were supportive), voice activation also received support (68%), with usage already at reasonably high levels at 59% and 35% respectively.

These findings support our belief that tech-infused living can be desirable at any age.  This trend has accelerated through the pandemic, as even more people have turned to digital connectivity to manage everyday life and stay in touch and engage with the wider community”.

Smart home technology can keep people connected, help with everyday tasks, and make it easier to call someone in an emergency. This requires a fast and reliable internet connection to make the most of any smart device.

Even the older generation can get frustrated from poor broadband. The more they rely on smart home technologies, the more they realise that they need fast and symmetrical speeds (symmetrical speed is where the upload and download speed of your connection is equally as good). It can be challenging for any individual, let alone those from an older generation if their slow Wi-Fi speeds are preventing them from using the technologies that is supposed to make their lives easier.

ClearFibre offers some of the fastest speeds in the UK. Residents can rest assured knowing that the quality of their living has improved.

Ceyda Tabak is client executive at ClearFibre, part of the Telcom Group. Please get in touch:

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