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Commercial Properties Must Have Sufficient Bandwith

Written by Darryl Wehmeyer on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 7:00 pm
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As the real estate industry continues to embrace the power of the Internet, one thing is clear: demand for Wi-Fi and enhanced bandwidth will be a requirement, not a luxury for a handful of properties. For building owners, managers and operators - particularly in the hospitality industry - this fact, that people want to go online (and access information from multiple devices), is an opportunity to innovate. These benefits, and this rule applies to both residential, multi-family properties and commercial destinations, are essential to attracting guests, increasing occupancy rates and enjoying repeat business.  

All of which means that there is a link between the physical comforts of a room - the bedding, views, square footage and overall layout - and the personal features as well: the connectivity to go online, send and receive emails, use social media, watch videos and go back-and-forth between a cell phone or tablet or laptop. A building with enough bandwidth to accommodate this usage - take, for instance, a hotel or acclaimed resort - will be a go-to resource, where people can both work and relax. The challenge for building owners rests for acknowledging this reality, that technology must keep pace with demand; that a diverse array of people - from business travelers to families to full-time residents to renters - have high expectations about the Internet.

The best way to handle these demands, and I have direct experience dealing with this issue with hoteliers in the Caribbean (which include Jewel Runaway Beach & Golf Resort), is to outfit a property in advance of this spike in traffic. By proactively networking a building or hotel with enhanced Wi-Fi - and by doing so without disrupting the physical integrity of the environment, which thus preserves the natural beauty of the grounds and architecture - everything is ready for the inevitable spike (in visitors and Internet usage) that will follow. In fact, building managers and operators - for both residential and commercial properties - should use the hospitality industry as a model to emulate.  

The reason is simple: the Internet is a fact of life; and people informally segment their online habits based on their workday responsibilities and their personal interests, while running everything - iPhones, iPads, Android handsets, and PC desktops and laptops - at the same time. To do that, and hotel guests have high expectations about using the Internet, a property must have sufficient bandwidth.

If we apply this example to other buildings, the advantages become even clearer: management companies can advertise the superior connectivity of available hotel rooms or apartments; prospective guests and tenants can go online with ease; word-of-mouth marketing yields more visitors; and, best of all, experts oversee the installation and maintenance of this network of Wi-Fi hot spots. Think of this situation as a way for the real estate industry to adjust to a changing business environment - a place where technology is both necessary and ubiquitous.

Implementing these recommendations is the first step towards harnessing the value of the Internet. The hospitality industry is the template we can - and should - follow, a precedent based on service, intelligence and recognition of the dynamic role of technology. This undertaking starts with putting the needs of clients first; it begins with an analysis of the many ways enhanced bandwidth can win the attention of prospective guests, tenants and long-term residents. It originates, in short, with an investment for the present - one that also sees the opportunities for the future, a means of gaining leadership status in a highly competitive industry.

These steps yield significant rewards. Now is the time to expand these advantages for even more companies throughout the world.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Copia Communications provides customized Internet solutions for businesses and hospitality clients throughout the Caribbean. Along with its team of expert technicians, Copia Communications installs and maintains a variety of Wi-Fi plans that meetthe needs of specific properties in a variety of leisure and professional settings.
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