Back to school: Community-wide Wi-Fi gives student housing properties a competitive edge

24/7 connectivity is essential for today’s “always-on” college students.

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August 02, 2019 |
Boingo: Where Connectivity Meets Community
Back to school: Community-wide Wi-Fi gives student housing properties competitive edge

The student housing boom that continues to sweep across America has elevated the expectations of today’s college students. 

Long gone are the days of dorms with cinder block walls and drab décor.

They’ve been replaced with stylish, high-tech facilities inspired by luxury apartments, comfortable hotels, and even posh resorts.

This nationwide student housing upgrade has sparked a full-blown amenities war, as properties compete to woo potential students with swimming pools, fitness centers, outdoor dining facilities and dog parks. It’s definitely not your mother’s college dorm experience.

At the top of the amenities list is blazing-fast, community-wide Wi-Fi. Reliable internet access everywhere in a property is essential for one simple reason: students won’t accept anything less.

Generation Z, the cohort that makes up the majority of today’s college students, live fully connected lifestyles. More than 90 percent of Gen Zers own smartphones, 71 percent have a Netflix subscription, and nearly three-fourths of them spend at least five hours online each day, according to “The Everything Guide to Gen Z,” a study conducted by Vision Critical.

These digital natives have no patience for unreliable, sluggish online experiences. They want always-on and always-awesome Wi-Fi throughout the property—in their units, study rooms, parking garages and common areas. Traditional cable models aren’t built to serve these needs, leading to the rise of new community-wide networks that are pre-installed to help properties stay competitive and move with the needs of residents in the 5G era.

Here are five reasons why connected communities are essential to state-of-the-art student housing developments:

1. Residents can enjoy hassle-free, instant-on connectivity at move-in.
When students move into their new home, they don’t want to be burdened with scheduling installation appointments and waiting around for the cable guy to arrive and “hook them up.” They’d much rather be instantly connected to reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi the moment they move in without the hassle of long-term contracts or bundles. Owners can offer this experience through always-on Wi-Fi networks that can be billed alongside rent or as part of a technology amenities package.

2. Students are digital natives.
College students rely on high-speed connectivity to facilitate most of their daily academic, social, entertainment, and practical living activities. They access online learning platforms, stream Netflix movies and Hulu shows, participate in Skype video chats, order food on Uber Eats, and shop on Amazon—often from multiple devices. Instead of making residents fend for themselves to get all of this connectivity that they crave, owners can make Wi-Fi amenities completely seamless thanks to new bulk, community-wide models.

3. Students can take full advantage of a building’s amenities.
The ability to swiftly access a Wi-Fi network, from corner to corner anywhere in and around the building, allows students to leverage the full range of indoor and outdoor amenities, including collaboration and learning spaces; pools, gyms, and recreation areas; and connected lockers and package centers. Whether studying or posting selfies, Wi-Fi everywhere will go a long way with resident satisfaction.  

4. It accommodates the need for speed.
Leading community-wide Wi-Fi models are built to be lightning-fast—we’re talking giga-bit speeds—to accommodate streaming, gaming, and other high-bandwidth activities that are fundamental to college living.

5. It powers smarter living with IoT.  
Owners can accelerate digital transformation at their student housing properties with community-wide wireless networks that seamlessly power IoT and smart devices throughout the property. From digital locks and security systems to BYOD—bring your own device—connected communities do much more than remove hassles brought on by the cable guy; they lay the foundation for a fully managed smart home, which boosts the appeal of the property and drives higher rent potential.

Simple, reliable, super-fast Wi-Fi connectivity is an expectation for today’s students—and an opportunity to drive value for your property. But it can’t be just any Wi-Fi. Corner-to-corner connectivity makes for a competitive advantage that can determine whether a student moves in or moves over to the competition. 

Boingo Where Connectivity Meets Community
Boingo: Where Connectivity Meets Community | Boingo

Boingo’s blog, Where Connectivity Meets Community, explores the ubiquity of Wi-Fi and the growing needs of wireless in residential communities across the U.S. Join us as we delve into hot topics in the multifamily industry, including community-wide Wi-Fi, cellular solutions, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). Learn more about Boingo and its award-winning wireless for multifamily properties at https://www.boingo.com/multifamily.

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