RENT Magazine Q1 '22


Make no mistake—internet connectivity, often called the “fourth utility,” has never been more vital for multifamily properties. While it’s not surprising that apartment residents (especially Gen Z) might consider getting online as essential as running water, power, and gas, developers and owners have numerous factors to weigh when choosing property-wide internet service. With plenty of options out there, owners should seek out a service that checks all the boxes. Some key questions to ask might be:

• Does it deliver a high-bandwidth, long-lasting solution? • Can it generate current and future revenue? • Will it meet or exceed resident expectations of seamless, always-on connectivity?

If the answer for building owners isn't fiber internet, they may need to prepare for a future of costly reinvesting, rewiring, and retrofitting. WHAT IS FIBER?

First, some basics. “Fiber-optics” is an internet technology that converts data into light impulses and transmits them through bundles of threadlike glass filaments at almost the speed of light. Since it doesn’t rely on copper wires using electrical energy to move information, fiber internet delivers less distortion, more resistance to outside interference, and a signal that can stay stronger over longer distances. The experience for fiber customers is a high-speed broadband connection, fewer slowdowns like lag time and buffering, and a durable network that can boast extraordinary reliability.

As an amenity, high-quality broadband access has pivoted from a convenience to a necessity in record time. Residents today spend an unprecedented amount of time online, connecting with their jobs, education, e-shopping, entertainment, and families. A Pew Research Poll found that nine in ten Americans view the internet as essential. According to a Deloitte connectivity study, they’re also using a record number of smart devices with an average total of 25 per U.S. household. More use and more devices add up to more bandwidth consumption than ever before. Let’s look at five reasons fiber internet can be a “win” for multifamily properties.

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