Need for Speed: Apartment Renters Prioritize Digital Amenities

By Kelsi Maree Borland
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A version of this story was originally published on

An internet connection is among the top amenities renters consider when signing a lease. Here is what they are looking for.

An internet connection was once considered a luxury item. Today, we think of it as a basic utility like electricity, gas, and water. In the last few years, the demand for internet connectivity has changed substantially, requiring the technologies that deliver the internet to our residences to evolve alongside this rapidly increasing need.

Widespread remote work has amplified internet usage, with data-hungry professional functions like virtual meetings and file transfers requiring faster and faster speeds. People also need speedy, reliable internet to power personal uses like streaming video, playing games and controlling smart home devices.

According to Jeff Johnson, director of consumer sales for the West Region at Quantum Fiber, there are three key features that every multifamily property needs for a quality internet amenity that meets modern needs today and in the future. Getting the key infrastructure to support it is crucial.

The Connectivity Trifecta

Speed, WiFi connection and reliability are the three essential elements of a quality internet connection, according to Johnson. Speed is a top priority, but WiFi and reliability are important features as well. As Johnson points out, WiFi is the primary source of connection to most people today, as few people hardwire devices.

Reliability, on the other hand, is necessary to ensure a seamless experience. There can’t be dead zones, for example, anywhere inside the unit or beyond. “When a resident is moving in, they expect fast internet speeds, and they want it instantly,” says Johnson. “I think that’s why we are a top choice because we have instant WiFi activation solutions available.”

Quality internet extends beyond the individual unit, as well. Multifamily operators need seamless connectivity to maintain the same quality experience while tenants are in a lounge area or by the pool. Many new, luxury amenities—golf simulators, smart features, connected fitness centers—are powered and operated through the internet. “You can choose to get ubiquitous coverage. From the minute you pull into that parking ramp, you’re connected anywhere you go in that property,” says Johnson.

Investing in the Right Infrastructure

Because connectivity demand is ever-evolving, based on how, when and where people are using the internet, it is important that property owners invest in an internet infrastructure that will adapt alongside user preferences. High-quality internet access, like fiber, is essential in today’s digital economy and is a major consideration for residents. Fiber can be the right fit for property owners for its long-term viability.

Today, multifamily owners are asking for a minimum of 1 Gbps of speed. “That is the new normal,” says Johnson, but that number will likely keep growing. Fiber is currently able to accommodate up to 3 Gbps to 8 Gbps symmetrical speed. “That’s going to allow for future technology to happen,” explains Johnson. “Residents want to know if the property’s internet can handle the new devices and equipment they are bringing to their home. There is an immense acceleration of personal and home smart-connected items.”

Internet isn’t just an important amenity; it is a necessity. Multifamily owners that have the right network and ISP partner so they can adapt alongside advancements in technology can have a competitive advantage and attract and retain residents.

Quantum Fiber® Connected Communities provides customized fiber solutions for apartments and communities.

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