In 2016, The FCC ruled that the Internet was a utility and would be regulated as such. While the government may recognize the importance of Internet use, the fact remains that fast and reliable Internet service is still not readily available in all areas.
Many users experience the effects of poor Internet service because their ISP is not maintained well. It is a very common opinion that this service could use some improvement. This is especially true for apartment buildings, condos, and other similar units.
Why Do Tenants in Apartments or Condominium Owners Experience Slow Internet Speeds?
Pinpointing the exact reason why your Internet service inside your apartment building is slow can be difficult. That’s because there are several factors that could contribute to the problem.
More Megabytes Per Second May Not Always Mean More Speed
The overall calculation of Internet speeds provided by your ISP is often misunderstood by consumers. Internet companies do a very good job at masking their advertised speeds that are hardly comparable to what you experience.
When comparing Internet packages, it may seem obvious to choose 150 Mbps over 100 Mbps. But more Mbps do not always mean you will have a faster online experience. When you sign up for a package that has more Mbps, you are purchasing more capacity, not speed.
When we as consumers think of speed, we comprehend it as miles per hour like a car’s speed. With the Internet, speed is measured with latency. The lower your latency, the faster your websites will load.
Back to the driving comparisons, if you imagine buying more Mbps as purchasing more lanes on the freeway instead of a faster speed for your actual car, you will gain a better understanding of how it works. The individual lanes still move at the same speed, no matter how many are added, whether it is a two-lane road or a four-lane.
Understanding Latency in Your Condo or Apartment
Latency is a subject many Internet service providers do not discuss because it is unfortunately out of their control. They are unable to manage or sell their customers a plan with lower latency. Instead, they simply sell more capacity.
Therefore, you will notice that you’ll still experience slow speeds even after you upgrade from 50 Mbps up to 150 Mbps. Your data is transferred to you at a faster rate because more can be sent out to all the customers at the same time. Its more efficient and can be faster at times, but overall it will not be the lightning fast speeds that you imagine. True Internet speed is measured between the bandwidth, which is how much is used, and latency, which is how fast it is.
Over-Subscription Could Cause Issues for Tenants
When an apartment complex offers Internet service to all their tenants operating on a single service plan, things can become slow very quickly. Although it's possible for everyone in the building to use the same Internet service, it can increase the overall cost-effectiveness of the network.
When online use is high during peak hours, it can slow down the speeds for all users. Considering how many people use the Internet these days and how often, it can be too much for one single plan to handle.
The Problems with Wi-Fi in Small, Populated Spaces
Wi-Fi in a small space may seem like a good solution for sluggish Internet speeds, but it is the opposite. While there isn’t much square footage for the signal to travel to, when you have multiple Wi-Fi frequencies from several routers all fighting for the same Internet service, it can cause a problem. This is very common in apartment complexes and office buildings where multiple companies are working at the same time. This means slower connections and decreased security throughout which creates a poor user experience overall.
Useful Tips for Apartment Complex Managers Who Offer Internet and Wi-Fi to Their Tenants
If you are the owner of an apartment complex or commercial building with multiple businesses set up, you can offer managed Internet and Wi-Fi to your tenants. Installing Wi-Fi for an entire apartment building doesn’t have to be a difficult task. And if you own a multi-tenant unit, you could earn an additional profit each month by offering this service.
Hire a Managed Wi-Fi Provider
Offering Internet and Wi-Fi to your tenants isn’t necessarily challenging, but it can be if you attempt to take on the task all on your own. You will need to accommodate for each unit with the right equipment and configurations.
To create a Wi-Fi system that is efficient, it is a good idea to rely on a trusted Wi-Fi provider who understands the complexity involved with this type of situation. By contacting a Wi-Fi provider, you can go back to managing your building instead of managing a network.
Always Use the Right Equipment
A Wi-Fi system for an apartment complex should be designed to meet the needs of numerous devices using one online source at the same time. And a one-size fits all Wi-Fi network setup just will not work. Instead, you need to use a setup designed specifically for multiple users. By hiring a professional Wi-Fi network installation team to take care of the process for you, you can ensure that your current and potential tenants will have fast and reliable Wi-Fi services they can depend on.
Keep an Eye on Bandwidth Usage
Keeping track of your overall bandwidth usage is a good way to ensure that you are not paying out more for Internet services you don’t need. While a large apartment complex may require one of the highest packages in the industry, much smaller apartment buildings and condos may not need as much as you think. Proper bandwidth management and reporting may be easier said than done but doing so will help you keep track of your usage and choose a plan that will meet your needs and your budget.
Provide Fast and Efficient Support
Technical difficulties will always happen, and it could be due to the device, the person using the device or related to the network. If you want to offer Wi-Fi services to your tenants, you will have to take service and support into consideration as well. How much time will you need to commit to making sure everyone’s Internet is operating as it should? To build up a good reputation with your tenants, you will want to make yourself available when they need online assistance. Choosing the right ISP can make a huge difference in that.
The Best Internet Options for Apartment Buildings, Condos, and Small Spaces
There are multiple Internet service providers out there as well as many ways to access the world wide web. So how do you know which one is the best one for your building complex?
The way you decide is similar to how you would choose an ISP for your own personal residential use, only on a much larger scale. You need to look at what services are offered in your area, how much you are willing to pay, and how often you plan to use it.
In most areas, Cable Modem and DSL Internet services are offered while other options such as Fiber Optic or Satellite services are scarcer or not recommended for multiple users.
If your apartment building is located in an area where fiber optic Internet services are offered, this would be your best option overall. Fiber Optic Internet, also commonly known as FiOS service is the fastest in the industry, the most reliable, and it is also quite affordable. When you need to connected hundreds of devices to a single online network, fiber optics would be the most desirable option.
Unfortunately, FiOS service is not offered in all areas which means that most apartment building owners must depend on other types of ISPs such as DSL or Cable Internet Providers. Here is a closer look at some of the top ISPs for your consideration.
AT&T DSL Internet Service – Best Customer Service
AT&T DSL Internet Service offers fast and reliable speeds with a large coverage area. You have the option to bundle your Internet service with DirecTV and most plans offer an included Wi-Fi Gateway to connect all your devices. AT&T offers fast speeds that are as much as 100 Mbps.
Comcast Xfinity – Fastest Maximum Speeds
Comcast Xfinity is well known in the industry for their optimal speeds and performance. This ISP can also offer bundled deals with their popular cable TV service packages. Xfinity is available in most areas, and they offer download speeds as fast as 2,000 Mbps.
Charter Spectrum – Best Cable Internet Provider
Charter Spectrum Cable Internet also offers a range of bundled offers with their Internet packages. They are an affordable option for residential users and building owners alike and can offer Internet speeds as fast as 100 Mbps.
Verizon FiOS – Fiber Optics Provider
Verizon FiOS offers excellent fiber-optic Internet service with speeds as fast as 940/880 Mbps. This type of Internet service can be used on 100+ devices at once making it the optimal choice for apartment buildings, condos, and office spaces.
Making the decision to offer Wi-Fi or other forms of Internet service to your tenants is a big responsibility that many landlords and business owners often get into without giving it much thought. What may seem to be very simple can quickly turn into a very complex task if it is not handled correctly. Consulting with a professional Wi-Fi team can be beneficial in more ways than one and can help you keep your tenants happy while everyone enjoys a fast and reliable connection.