Multifamily WiFi Solutions & The Evolution of Apartment WiFi
The evolution of WiFi solutions in apartments has changed drastically over the past decade. From unmanaged and uninvolved apartments to fully managed no install solutions, the process has become easier for both operators and residents.
Unmanaged Cable Modem Solution
For the longest time, apartment residents have been viewed in cable and internet providers exactly the same as single family home owners and residents. After moving in, apartment residents would be in charge of activating their own service from signing up, picking up their own equipment, installing and dealing with the service provider. This left the apartment operator completely hands off. As this solution involved, operators were also introduced into an unmanaged bulk service that still left a bad taste in their mouth. The bulk service was very appealing to operators at first offering a lower rate to residents and receiving door fees as an operator. These feelings quickly subsided as rates for internet service continued to increase in the 8 to 10 contract period leaving little to no ROI. Additional problems with this solution also included varying quality in resident owned routers, and competing networks fighting resulting in decreased internet speeds on each property.
Following this unmanaged solution, service providers began looking into ways to fully reset apartment property internet and WiFi structure. This came in the form of a centralized solution. On new and used properties, service providers would install new fiber optic cable to the main office building, then fiber from the office building to each individual living building. Once fiber reached each individual building, ethernet and coax transitioned to each individual unit. This solution proved much better than the previous but service providers quickly found issues when installing in existing properties, specifically old properties. Because this solution required full new construction, some modern technology wouldn’t fit into older constructed buildings. Ethernet and coax cables would also have to be routed up exterior walls to the attic and down through the walls to units. In the office building and around each living building, large cabinets would also have to be installed.
This centralized solution is still used today, but primarily only on new builds. Since it requires so much construction, they typically reserve the work for more flexibility.
Advanced Community WiFi
After finding trouble with this centralized solution in existing properties, service providers were tasked with creating an offer that much easily suited current operators in bulk scenarios. This turned into the Advanced Community WiFi or ACW solution. In this solution, service providers would work off the existing wiring installed at a property and use the same modem and router as other situations. As this may seem offly familiar to the unmanaged solution, the difference in ACW lies in the agreement between the operator and the service provider. In this situation, operators provide some form of base level of internet including or not including video to a resident at a price drastically lower than if a resident got an agreement on their own. This type of solution has a huge benefit for the operator.
- No construction
- No resident unit access
- Quick implementation from contract signage
- Owners can choose launch/implementation date
- Can sell internet only
- No credit or background checks for residents
- National Account Status for residents
Multifamily WiFi solutions have changed a lot over the past decade all to make residents’ and operators’ lives easier.
Want to learn more about WiFi solutions for apartments and what could fit your property best? Read about Quext Connect!