So, You’re Considering  Broadband for Social Housing

When it comes to broadband for social housing, infrastructure is only the start. But it’s an important start. For any registered social landlord who is implementing digital inclusion initiatives, getting the right infrastructure in place is vital. Finding the right provider is just as important. Including broadband is a great opportunity for digital inclusion as it can provide internet connectivity for education and job opportunities.

Whether its internet access for new developments you are looking for or Wi-Fi for existing properties, here is a checklist of things to think about before committing to one provider.

Up to Speed

The speed normally advertised by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) ranges from 17 Mbps to over 100 Mbps. Despite this, if you look closely the adverts say “up to” which means that the actual speed and consistency of the speed you receive will probably be lower or variable. The location of different properties will impact speed significantly. Another contributing factor that will affect your new build Wi-Fi is that the speed degrades. This will happen as it goes from the cabled broadband connection through to the device being used (iPad, laptop, Smartphone) over Wi-Fi.

Strong Signal

Once the broadband speed has finally reached your router it will broadcast the Wi-Fi signal to your devices.  The speed you get on your device will depend on several factors, but the most important one is Wi-Fi signal strength. A strong and stable Wi-Fi signal will mean more bandwidth (speed) will be distributed to the devices connecting to the network. But as you may know, this is heavily linked to where the equipment is located in the property. The further you get away from the Wi-Fi equipment, the weaker the signal will become resulting in a slower and more inconsistent service. The signal can also be reduced by interference from your household appliances, neighbouring Wi-Fi networks, people in your house, Bluetooth devices, and your house’s structure and age.

Uncontrollable factors

There are still other factors that can make your connection sluggish or unreliable. Things like old/poor cabling, weather conditions, viruses, etc. can all negatively affect the connection. However, one of the biggest reasons is that one of the tenants is hogging the bandwidth! All connected devices share Wi-Fi speed. The number of Wi-Fi devices per tenant in a multiple occupancy house increases every year. It currently stands at just under 4 per user. A typical service would give priority to the first device connected to the network, which can cause other tenants to experience slow speeds.

Cost Neutrality

All of these points are very important when it comes to choosing the right Wi-Fi provider. At the end of the day, often cost is a big factor. However, this should not be the case. This is a cost you can actually pass as an onward rental or service charge, so it’s the social housing tenant paying for the service. Therefore making the service cost neutral.

But what about having to add the cost and hassle of managing the service? Well, that depends on the service provider you choose. You may think that choosing a high street, one size fits all kind of solution less is the best choice because it costs. However, in that case, adding internet will increase your cost to serve (a cost you are looking to reduce anyway). This is because you will have to handle any problems and support yourself as the first port of call. A managed solution will mean that the management is done by the internet serviced provider and is included in the cost.

How can we help with internet for social housing

We’re landlords, too. We understand what’s important to tenants and their expectations around the availability of connectivity in rentals. Understanding the specifics of broadband is in our blood. Knowing what’s possible from a technical point of view is our profession.

Our  broadband designs have been created specifically for the rented sector. Our services range from designing and installing digital infrastructures through to delivering ongoing connectivity for residents. As a fully managed broadband service, we are ideally placed to help you navigate the road to digital empowerment. With 24/7/365 helpdesk support, tenants will never have a question go unanswered. We have a no dead zone guarantee too, so tenants will have access to reliable connectivity wherever they are inside the property.

Click here for more information about our Wi-Fi for social housing.