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Multifamily WiFi & Internet that Creates Income

Access, Knowledge and Connection. Sharing whats possible around Internet for all Americans, starting with multifamily.

How to Fix Slow Internet, Generate Revenue and Ditch the “Cable Guys” With a Multifamily Internet Service

An Educational Series for Apartments, HOA’s and Co-Op’s: Part II “Pure Internet”  

Pure Internet, the refreshing, no hassle experience of fast, fiber backed“Internet That Just Works”. It flows like the crystal clean rivers in the Glacier Mountains, unpolluted by the impurities of the big cities. It rushes to its destination, shimmering off the rocks with a turquoise clarity. Pure Internet is an unadulterated network of low latency paths, moving data directly and efficiently to its endpoint. Traveling unobstructed by bottlenecks or inefficiencies; safely and securely arriving to its destination.  The pipes are bountiful, clean and safe; the obstacles that litter most networks have been removed. The end-user is left with a great sense of freedom, ease and gratitude from the Internet experience, so much so they may even begin to take it for granted.   

In contrast, in part one; we discussed the current “Dirty City WaterInternet experience that most Americans are accustomed to. In short; you have been sold Internet speeds that are not really speeds at all but rather capacity, on an oversubscribed network.  Speeds that are asymmetrical, transmitting over antiquated wiring technology, first used 100 years ago. You have “hired” yourself to configure your network, trying desperately to fend off dirty data and professional hackers with an over-the-counter router. You call for support and reach your, “not-so friendly” monopolistic ISP who has no financial incentive to improve the situation. For an “arm-and-a-leg” they promise they will give it their “best effort”; however they seem to be having a hard enough time fixing their own wiring and equipment to worry about your home network issues. It appears “you‘re on your own”.

Pure Internet is never slow, reliably available and seamlessly integrated into your living environment. There are no hassles, no learning curves, and it is fully supported.

So why do you tolerate “Dirty City Water” Internet? What stops you from enjoying a Pure, Crystal Clean Internet experience? In this article we will unveil what “Pure Internet” is, where to find it, and how to affordably bring it to your apartment building, HOA or Co-Op.

The 4 pillars to “Crystal Clean Glacier Water” (Pure Internet)

Internet speeds – Pillar 1

A) Internet Speeds: “True” Internet speed is the relationship between bandwidth (how much) and latency (how fast) – not just bandwidth alone.  Greater bandwidth indicates a greater capacity; however, it doesn’t necessarily indicate higher performance.”

Note that bandwidth is not the only factor that affects network performance: There is also packet loss, latency and jitter, all of which degrade network throughput and make a link perform like one with lower bandwidth. A network path usually consists of a succession of links, each with its own bandwidth, so the end-to-end bandwidth is limited to the bandwidth of the lowest speed link (the bottleneck).”

Therefore, both bandwidth and latency should be considered in tandem. Bandwidth is simplistically solved by purchasing more it; conversely latency is more complicated. Reducing the number of “hops” or routers in the entire network, improving the efficiency of the equipment, routing paths, better wiring and quality up-link peering relationships takes a bit more planning and implementation.

Best Practices: Purchase low latency, high capacity bandwidth such as an all fiber up-link with minimal hops. Avoid up-links that touch legacy copper, often found in “Big Box” cable infrastructure. Optimize routing and peering agreements.

B) Over-subscription: ISP’s tend to oversubscribe their network, with typical ratios of 100 to 1 or more. While there is no magic pill for ideal ratios, over-subscription is an easy fix.  The idea is to keep peak periods saturated with plenty of bandwidth by monitoring usage and customizing those ratios for guarantee bandwidth.

Best Practices: Diligently monitor the networks bandwidth requirements and increase and decrease over-subscription ratios as needed. Implement network polices that reduce bandwidth usage and stop bandwidth abuse.

C) Symmetrical Speeds:  Symmetrical (balanced down/up) is optimal for the growing needs of all residents who enjoy video streaming, VoIP and chat. When using cable modems and other inferior technologies, symmetrical speeds can be inherently impossible. A Fiber-Backed WiFi network allows for symmetrical speeds as an intrinsic benefit. 

Best Practice: Purchase bandwidth that is fiber-backed and symmetrical.

D) Privacy: If privacy is important to you, then choosing an ISP who values it is crucial. Not all ISP’s will offer anonymity, but some will. This is a hot topic; consumers demand more privacy. All ISP’s have certain legal obligations when it comes to your traffic; however, selling the data for advertisement purposes to the highest bidder is a financial choice.

Best practice: Choose an ISP who is conscientious of your privacy and does not sell your data.

Managed Internet & Support – Pillar 2

A) Clean Data: With Fiber-Back Property-Wide WiFi or similar enterprise networks, high-end firewalls are standard. The firewall will thwart access to certain malicious sites and block dangerous downloads. Enterprise firewalls are more affordable when a community uses its buying power.

Best Practices: Install onsite enterprise firewalls so the entire community can enjoy the benefits of professional security.

B) Customer Support: Many ISP’s are overwhelmed by their antiquated wiring and customer equipment; thus they don’t allocate proper resources to support the actual Internet experience. By updating wiring and equipment, proactively monitoring the system and implementing 24/7 end-user device support; owners can control the quality of their network, therefore reducing end-user complaints. Support becomes experience based, rather than network based.

Best Practices: Hire a Full Service Internet Provider (FSIP) that can build and operate a network to your specific standards. This allows the quality of your internet offerings to be in alignment with your brand, subsequently creating the revenue component that was not possible before.

C) Service Level Agreements: Rather than purchase a “Best Effort Modem Service” from your local telecom, look for a service level agreement (SLA). Ordinarily this type of service is sold to enterprises or businesses because of the expense associated with that type of quality and reliability. When you average the cost of a SLA-backed Internet connection through your entire resident base, the cost is nominal.  Everyone pays for a quality up-link (bandwidth) rather than individually paying for a low-quality connection. The result is less expensive, high-quality, lower latency bandwidth.

Best Practices: Buy Internet services from an ISP who will provide guaranteed or dedicated bandwidth (i.e. buy one good fiber up link to serve them all), backed with an SLA agreement.

Security: Security should be left to the experts. Typically most residents won’t hire a security professional to manage their home router. When the system is owned and controlled by the property and operated by their personal network operator (PNO) the security is included and thus the resident receives professional security as an inherent benefit.

Best Practices: Hire a PNO or a FSIP to professionally manage the security of your network.

WiFi Design & Configuration – Pillar 3

A) WiFi Installation & Design:  Your network is only as strong as your weakest link; link one, the WiFi access point (AP). Design becomes exponentially more complicated the moment you add a second AP to the network. Equipment choice, location, configuration, and design all need to be professionally customize and implemented. Radio Frequency (RF) interference and the subsequent coverage areas are also serious science. Further, in the noisy RF environment of an apartment building, it is wise to design coverage for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (i.e. dual band router) RF coverage in mind. The network should be synergistic and configured to self-mitigate. In other words, the network should work together.

Best Practices: Design a network with quality equipment and with coverage and configurations that are a match for the intended environment. Perform site surveys to insure complete 5 GHz coverage.

B) Configuration: Over-the-counter home routers are usually self-configured, have limited configuration options, major security risks and performance issues. Professionally configuring enterprise equipment allows for optimal network performance. High-Quality routers, AP’s, switches, and gateways; along with the proper configurations become instrumental to a “Pure Internet” experience.

Best Practices: Own and control the network. Then hire an FSIP to configure and set network polices; thus optimizing the fastest, safest and most reliable network.

Internet & WiFi Installation – Pillar 4

A) Competition: There are many barriers to entry in becoming an ISP. For example, the Big ISP’s are able to force competition out of the market place before new providers can rise up. This has stifled innovation and driven competitors out of business, even for companies such as Google Fiber. Property owners can circumvent competition issues because they own the “Internet Real Estate”; easily driving inferior services out while increasing profits for themselves. 

The “Big Box” ISP’s have bought their way into apartments with up-front door fees and revenue sharing promises. This seems like easy money, however, owners are leaving millions on the table. The amount of per door revenue generated by owning an Internet system and other intrinsic value such as depreciation, increased brand recognition, retention, loyalty, happier residents and property value increases are just not available without ownership.  Why let someone drill for oil on your land when you can collect the oil profits directly?

Ditching the “Big Box” guys and taking control of your brand is simple. In a recent article “Show Me the Money! 4 Ways Fiber-Backed WiFi for Apartments Will Create Internet Income”, there is an interesting graphic that shows a 32% Cash-On-Cash return for a Fiber-Backed Property-Wide WiFi system and over a million dollar property value increase on that same 150 unit apartment building.

Best Practices: Take control of your Internet services; install a modern Internet delivery system that will allow you to capitalize on your “Internet Real Estate”.              

B) Fiber Delivery: Most Americans have antiquated wiring bottlenecks and are forced to connect to the Internet through outdated wiring. It’s no secret fiber is awesome. It’s safe to say connecting to the fiber grid is a good idea. Even if you don’t wire the entire property, it’s a good idea to integrate a fiber up-link to each building and back to a central point of egress.

Best Practices: Modernize the internet delivery system in each building with either fiber or Cat-6a wiring. Connect each building back to a central point of egress with fiber and then connect to   the fiber grid through a fiber integrator or FSIP.

C) Enterprise Access Points: Most Americans use inexpensive Over-the-Counter routers. These routers have major security and coverage issues (even when installed and configured correctly). Enterprise Access points (AP’s), such as Ruckus Wireless, offer many more security features and capabilities. Further, an AP controller appliance allows for communication between all the AP’s. This allows for features such as interference mitigation and seamless roaming. Essentially the AP’s work as a team to provide the best coverage versus the chaos created by individually owned networks.

Best Practices: Use enterprise AP’s with a master controller for synergistic and seamless WiFi coverage.

Conclusion:

 “Pure Internet” is really the concept of reducing bottlenecks by implementing the best known tactics for every segment of the internet delivery system; from the data center to the end-users device. Hopefully our two part series has shed some light on the bottlenecks and best practices for resolving them. Remember your network is only as strong as the weakest link, all four pillars discussed must be implemented or your internet experience will suffer. Further, if you leave the ownership and control to someone else, namely the “Big Box” guys, you will be at the mercy of their brand values and corporate philosophies. As we have seen all too often and as measured by consumer reports, the big Internet Providers are content on providing “Dirty-City-Water” type Internet services at premium pricing for the foreseeable future.

Your residents wish they had better Internet and will clamor to the idea of “Pure Internet”. If all four pillars are implemented, you will own the best internet deliver system in town, and your residents will love it and you. Moreover, you will generate revenue, improve your brand, increase retention, significantly increase property value and decrease the cost of living for your residents.  At the end of the day this is not an Internet or telecommunications decision, rather it is an investment decision. For around $500-$1,000 a door you can transform your property overnight and have what every multifamily investor strives for; “Profits and Happy Residents”.

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