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Broadband is increasingly becoming regarded as a basic utility - such as gas, electricity and water - and could affect the value and take-up of commercial property developments.

What's more, broadband is no longer exclusive to office developments, but is being regarded as a key asset for retail and industrial premises, according to UK-based commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton.

It's research found that businesses signing up for new premises are demanding broadband connections - and increasingly rejecting potential properties if there is no broadband.

Which means that developers and landlords could lose out financially if their space isn't wired for high-speed Internet services.

The growing demand for broadband means that property developers are being urged to ensure that there is broadband connectivity nearby before they buy land, since this could affect the value and return of their investment.

Said LSH's Samantha Damon: "The availability of broadband suppliers and flexibility of services should be taken seriously by property developers and landlords.

"If an investment does not yet have appropriate broadband access then the issue should be addressed and the limitations considered.

"Developers must seek to take advantage of the established and developing digital technologies in order to attract tenants who will have a requirement for broadband access."

Research from the US this year found that house builders were increasingly including broadband connections and IT-related wiring when building new homes because of the demand for high-speed Net access. ®

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