By Regan Anderson / Published January 2021
High-speed internet has surpassed video to become the most important amenity requested by today’s community residents. To meet these changing demands, property managers and board members are reevaluating the communication services they provide to ensure two things: optimal value for residents and performance levels that can be considered “future-proof.”
Many communities are choosing to invest in a fiber network. With higher bandwidth capacity and greater reliability, fiber offers an easy path for increasing resident satisfaction and protecting the future of your community. To maximize the benefits, it’s important to take a close look at all your options so you can better understand the details and requirements before making the investment.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you consider adding a fiber network to your development.
Today, bandwidth usage is doubling approximately every 20 months. Remote work, video streaming, and communication are becoming more common, while devices like cell phones, tablets, and virtual assistants are all requiring increased bandwidth to provide seamless services. You need to provide residents with technology that can support these demands without slowing down at times of heavy usage.
The way people use the internet today isn’t the only factor you need to consider, either. As we look ahead, applications for telemedicine, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence all seem poised to become more common, increasing the demands on residents’ home networks. That’s where the advantages of a fiber network really come into play.
With greater bandwidth availability, unmatched reliability, and flexible scalability, fiber infrastructure can potentially satisfy the requirements of your development for years to come. But in order to maximize that potential, you need to make sure you have a partner that can help you select a network type that works for your unique needs.
When it comes to building out on a large scale, not all fiber networks are the same. There are different connection types, such as fiber to the property (FTTP), fiber to the unit (FTTU), and fiber to the home (FTTH), that determine how service is distributed across your property. There are also different build types, such as active Ethernet, data over cable service interface specifications (DOCSIS) over coax, and passive optical network (PON), that can affect maximum speeds as well as flexibility.
While all of these different network and build types provide higher performing internet connectivity when compared to legacy technologies, there are some crucial differences when it comes to construction requirements, costs, and timeframes. You do not need to be an expert on the technical differences between the various types, but you do want to choose a partner that is an expert.
Ask questions as you go through the negotiation process to ensure you are making the best choices for your community. By working with an experienced technology leader, you can be confident that your choice will provide access to the features and services your residents want—at a price that works for your association.
Do you have seasonal residents? Do you have common areas that you’ll want to provide with services? These are just some of the questions to consider as you create your list of desired features for your property.
An excellent place to start is by thinking about your community’s demographics. Technology usage varies greatly across age groups. In addition, if you are entering a long contract, you will have to keep in mind any changes you anticipate over the next 10 years.
Think about whether you’ll need features like noncompliance shutoff to deactivate service to residents who haven’t paid HOA dues, or support for wireless boxes or voice remotes with accessibility features. Also take note of how many common areas you have that will require service, like pools or clubhouses, as some providers are stringent and will only connect a limited number of areas.
Communicate your needs with providers to make sure they’re aware of what’s important to your community. Establish clear expectations, and make sure you’re getting the flexible service you need to satisfy your residents and increase the value of your development.
According to a 2019 survey of potential Atlantic Broadband customers, more than half said that pricing is an important benefit. With bulk cable and broadband packaging, you can reduce costs on residents’ internet and TV services by as much as 50 percent compared to getting services à la carte.
Getting lower rates on services isn’t the only advantage of bulk packaging. By combining key services, you’ll experience a more seamless build-out and enjoy a single point of contact for support through installation and beyond.
All these benefits add to the overall value of your services and can make providing the right technology for your residents much simpler.
A commitment to exceptional customer service is an important quality to look for in a technology partner. Get to know the people you’ll be working with, and make sure they’re respectful of your time and focused on helping your development grow. Ask for references and verify that they have a proven track record of completing construction projects on time and providing quality service and support.
In addition, you’ll need a provider that actually has the resources to execute their plan. A partner that’s financially strong can help ensure your build is done on time and within budget. They can also provide a sense of confidence that they’ll be with you for the term of the agreement, without looking to sell off the contract and push you into a new provider.
Lastly, it’s important to work with a technology leader that can help you gain access to the latest technology now, rather than years later.
As you look ahead to the future of your property, keep these tips in mind. With the right network and the right provider, you can stay ahead of the increased technology needs of your residents and grow your property confidently.
It’s all about finding an easier path to providing your community with the best experience at the best value. We’ve been helping communities here in South Florida do exactly that for more than 15 years and would love the opportunity to help you do the same. Make the right choice for your community. Your residents will thank you.
Vice President of Select Communities, Atlantic Broadband
Regan Anderson has helped drive growth in the telecommunications sector for more than 30 years as a senior marketing executive. Most recently, Mr. Anderson, Vice President of Select Communities for Atlantic Broadband, has helped lead Atlantic Broadband’s growth in multi-unit residential communities from Broward County to West Palm Beach and surrounding communities by working closely with property developers, managers, and owners to create connectivity solutions for communities and their residents. To connect with Regan directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Atlantic Broadband bulk services, call 1-888-674-4892.