for Apartment Buildings and Condos
T1 dedicated Internet service
offers the opportunity for landlords and real estate developers
to offer broadband access to their tenants at a profit.
By: John Shepler
Real Estate developers and landlords know that
broadband Internet service is becoming a utility, much like telephone
service or even electricity. They eye the phone and cable companies
and wonder if there is a way they could get in on the action.
Actually, there is. In fact, the availability of high speed Internet
access in every apartment might well be a competitive advantage.
The Advantage of Dedicated Internet
If you have designs on becoming an Internet Service Provider,
even to a single building, you'll want to start with high reliability
dedicated Internet access that you control. That's called T1
Internet or Dedicated Internet. The "dedicated" designation
means that the full bandwidth of the T1 line is dedicated to
your use. DSL and Cable may appear dedicated because a single
wire enters the premises. But actually that Internet access is
multiplexed or shared among dozens or even hundreds of other
users. Consumer grade services often come with a restriction
that you cannot share the line with others, and certainly not
resell the service. That's what they are in the business of doing.
But with T1 Internet, you have a professional
telecommunications service that small ISPs have traditionally
used a network backbone. A T1 Router provided by the carrier
connects to your building network to provide service to as many
suites as you like. Typically, a single T1 line can serve up
to 25 users. But you can also bond T1 lines together to multiply
Bandwidth and Reliability
Each T1 line provides 1.5 Mbps both upload and download speeds.
That's unlike other services that limit upload speed. While 1.5
Mbps may sound like a moderate bandwidth, consider that you and
your tenants have this line to yourselves so it's going to be
more than adequate in most cases. Bonding will give you speeds
of 3 Mbps, 4.5 Mbps, 6 Mbps and so on up to about 12 Mbps.
Dedicated T1 service also comes with a
SLA or Service Level Agreement. That's assurance that your line
will provide a high level of availability and that you'll get
quick response if there ever is an outage. T1 service is the
most common digital telecommunications used by businesses, with
Tenant Access Strategy
The terms for providing broadband Internet service to tenants
can vary from including it in the monthly rent to separately
charging a monthly fee. You might even consider providing wireless
routers and helping tenants set them up so they work with their
equipment and don't interfere with other tenants.
Where T1 dedicated Internet access can
really be a strategic advantage to a property is in areas where
DSL and Cable Internet are not available. T1 lines can be provisioned
just about anywhere you can get plain old telephone service.
How much does this approach cost? It varies
by location, depending on distance to the network point of presence
and available infrastructure. Prices start at just below $400
a month in major population areas. Even 10 tenants sharing this
line would amount to a cost of $40 each per month each. If you
have 25 users on a $500 T1 line, the cost per tenant is only
$20. Even at twice the line cost, the per-tenant access cost
is competitive with other broadband services.
Integrated Telephone and Internet Option
Another approach is to combine phone service and Internet on
a single T1 line, called T1 Integrated voice and data service.
Thismakes a lot of sense when you want telephone and Internet
service for the office and Internet for the entire building.
Each outside phone line only takes 64Kbps of bandwidth and some
services provide a dynamic T1 line that lets the Internet users
have all the bandwidth when there are no phone calls in progress.
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