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Multifamily WiFi Solutions & The Evolution of Apartment WiFi

The evolution of WiFi solutions for apartments have changed drastically over the past decade. From unmanaged and uninvolved apartments to fully-managed no-install solutions for multifamily properties, the process has become easier for both operators and residents. 


Unmanaged Cable Modem WiFi Solutions for Apartments

For the longest time, apartment residents have been viewed by 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 internet service provider. This left the apartment operator completely hands off. As this solution evolved, operators were also introduced to an unmanaged bulk WiFi 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. 

A collection of apartment buildings signifying the growth of multifamily properties, correlating with the advancement of Wi-Fi technology

A Centralized WiFi Solution for Apartments

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. 

A work desk setup representing Wi-Fi connectivity for multifamily properties.

Advanced Community WiFi for Your Apartment Property

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 awfully familiar to the unmanaged solution, the difference in ACW internet 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 to make residents’ and operators’ lives easier. 


Want to learn more about the best managed WiFi solution for your apartment property? Read about Quext Connect!