BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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12 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MARCH/APRIL 2017 PROPERTY OF THE MONTH Managed Wi-Fi as an Amenity: Enclave on Golden Triangle, Fort Worth, Texas Real estate investment company Cottonwood Residential is standardizing on bulk services as a technology amenity – and, in the Charter Communications service area, on Charter's Community Managed Wi-Fi service in particular. One of its first deployments, which helped prove the success of this strategy, was at Enclave on Golden Triangle. Thanks to Chris Spadone of Charter's Spectrum Community Solutions and Scott Russell of Cottonwood Residential for gathering the information for this profile. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities S hould apartment communities provide bulk video and internet? Is bulk service a valuable benefit for residents or an infringement on their freedom? Except in student housing and other types of multiple-dwelling-unit properties in which individual service is impractical, bulk service has been somewhat controversial, with varying degrees of acceptance in different times and places. To succeed with bulk service, owners must implement it well and price it correctly. Cottonwood Residential, a property owner and manager with about 22,000 units in the South and West, recently formed a subsidiary, My Tech Amenity, to provide technology amenities for the properties Cottonwood owns and/or manages, as well as third- party properties that want to use its services. According to Scott Russell, Cottonwood's vice president for ancillary services and business development, the group developed a proposal to transition many of Cottonwood's apartment communities to bulk video and internet service. is proposal was intended to provide a new revenue stream for the company and a benefit for residents. But top executives had questions. Offering bulk service in a new property, in which every resident would be a subscriber from day one, was one thing; transitioning existing properties was something else. Residents wouldn't have to subscribe until their leases were renewed – which could be as long as two years. Would there be a lag before the new services became profitable? To persuade residents to sign up for the new service before they were required to, My Tech Amenity developed a strategy that addressed product, pricing and marketing. Its bulk service products are ahead of the technology curve, with gigabit-capable networks currently delivering 300 Mbps downstream per apartment unit and with HDTV as part of the bulk package. ey are easy to use – for example, internet access is primarily through Wi-Fi, and each resident's secure, private Wi-Fi network is available anywhere on the property. Services are priced aggressively, with a