News & Opinions
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Feeding the Insatiable Need for Internet Speed
Bendix Anderson / MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE / July 15, 2013
The Internet connection at University Village Apartments on Colvin Street in Syracuse, N.Y., seemed like it would be more than fast enough.
But by the time the property opened in 2009, the definition of “fast” had changed.
The students at University Village demanded connections that would let hundreds of them watch video clips and whole movies over the Internet at the same time. While students grilled property managers at town hall-style meetings, the developer rushed to have copper cables torn out and fiber-optic cables installed at the brand-new, Class-A property.
“We’ve got to provide it or risk not being 100 percent leased,” says Scott P. Casey, senior vice president of strategic business development for EdR, a REIT based in Memphis, Tenn.
Super-fast Internet connections are now the most important technological amenity developers and managers can provide at student housing properties.
Strike Up the Bandwidth
Fast Internet speeds have become something students depend on and expect—64 percent said they would consider relocating if Internet speeds were lower in their student housing than expected, according to data from J Turner Research.
“There is just this insatiable appetite for speed,” says Joseph Batdorf, president of J Turner Research.
Fast Internet is not only the most important technological amenity for students. It is also the third most important amenity of any kind for any demographic—a washing machine in the apartment, and a bathroom to one’s self, were the only amenities rated higher, according to J Turner Research.