Connectivity has become a major part of everyone’s life through the way we communicate, consume media, shop, as well as using appliances in the home. With 64% of people in the UK owning 3 or more connected devices and 7 out of 10 Britons considering broadband as an essential utility, what does this mean for landlords? Well, on top of the demands of tenants (96% of tenants say that a lack of internet when moving into a property is a cause for massive frustration) there’s also other building infrastructure to consider, such as building management systems, CCTV, door access and other common features found in multi-dwelling units.
This blog explores what landlords should consider when planning and sourcing building connectivity, how to choose the right broadband technology and how to make sure you’re covered even in the worst case.
Why is your connectivity important?
As you will have seen earlier in the blog, connectivity is becoming a vital utility for tenants across the UK and with more millennials and Gen Z renters entering the market, the demands on landlords to provide good quality connectivity is higher than ever. Over a third of Britons say they couldn’t live without an internet connection and 15% of 18-25 year–olds say they would rather go without heating for a month than not have an internet connection!
It’s clear that tenants have prioritise good connectivity but that’s not the only consideration landlords have when it comes to connectivity. Depending on the technology used within your multi-dwelling unit you might have devices or systems that rely on your building connectivity to work properly and speak to other devices. It’s important to understand what devices need connectivity and what speeds or bandwidth they require to run optimally to ensure you can provide the best service possible and avoid disruption to any of your processes that rely on an internet connection.
1. Understanding your use cases
Hopefully that’s helped you frame your current or potential use cases for connectivity, but how do you make sure you get a solution that best fits? Well for tenants it’s important to understand what the demand will be in terms of concurrent users, whether they need individual routers in each apartment and if they are willing to pay a premium to get connectivity included in a rental agreement (this could open up a resale opportunity for you).
Understanding these things helps you to speak to partners and providers and put in a solution that works for you and your tenants. If you have existing tenants ask them what they want from a service like that and what they would expect if you were to provide a solution – after all they will be the consumers of your solution!
If you have other systems and devices that the building relies on to be operational, make sure you understand the bandwidth you require and whether you need a separate connection to run these devices. If you’re unsure this is where your provider can support you in designing a solution that takes those considerations into account.
2. Choosing the right broadband technology for you
When it comes to choosing the type of connectivity you require it’s important to right type of connection for your solution as you don’t want to put connectivity in place that doesn’t meet your requirements.
If you want the most stable, reliable connection we’d recommend a leased line for your building, this provides a symmetrical connection (same upload and download speeds), with a dedicated service level agreement (SLA) and a dedicated connection from your ISP meaning that you don’t share your speeds with other businesses or residents like traditional broadband. The prices for leased lines are usual higher than traditional business or residential broadband packages and can sometimes require upfront payments for installation, but if your supplying internet to numerous tenants and other devices, a dedicated connection can remove a lot of the headaches down the line.
If you want to read more about the differences between leased lines and broadband you can read our guide here.
Other bits of tech to consider with these solutions are the networking in your building and the devices you use to distribute your WiFi signal across the different floors and rooms. If you are providing tenants with their own router, making sure you have the network cabling in place to provide a connection to each router is important as well ensuring the router can provide a good WiFi signal for the room or apartment it’s located in. If you are providing just WiFi connectivity, ensuring you have access points that provide consistent signal strength for all your tenants is also important, as well as the security in place to allow only authorised tenants to access their personal network or a guest network for visitors etc.
Whilst this all might seem too much information to handle, this is where a trusted provider can help you navigate the challenges that come with providing connectivity to a multi-dwelling unit.
3. Putting disaster recovery in place
What happens when everything goes wrong? You’d be surprised that a lot of landlords don’t consider this when it comes to connectivity and often it’s not until something goes wrong that they put a fail-safe in place to limit the disruption.
Backup connections come in different forms, the most popular is mobile which uses a 4g or 5g sim within a mobile router, another option is using a Fixed Wireless Access connection if you have a provider in your area, this provides a connection via a wireless receiver placed on the roof of your building that connects to a core node site and provides connectivity wirelessly.
Both solutions can be set so that if the main connectivity sources stop working it will switch to the backup router to provide a temporary connection whilst you are waiting for your leased line or broadband to come back online.
How we can help
If this all seems complicated to you or you’re thinking that you could do with some advice, that’s where finding a suitable partner can go a long way to solving the headaches that come from setting up building connectivity. At Connexin we provide broadband to businesses and residential properties across the UK so understand the challenges that businesses and landlords face as well as the requirements tenants have when it comes to broadband connectivity. Having worked on numerous multi-dwelling unit projects, we’re also experienced in putting bespoke solutions in place to meet the needs of landlords and tenants.
So, if you want some advice or are looking for a partner to support you in designing and installing a solution, please let us know. You can speak to a member of our team using the live chat in bottom right corner or call our business team on 01482 427 383.