Condo Media - August 2010 - (Page 36)

TECHNOLOGY by Aaron Lenburg Staying Ahead of the E-curve Offering Building-wide WiFi Internet Service for Condominium Residents t’s 7:30 p.m. In Unit 301, teenagers are playing an online video game competing against someone across the country. In Unit 112, a business executive is hosting an online video conference with Singapore. In Unit 214, a college professor is sending emails to his class. A Realtor in Unit 710 is updating her website with new listings. What’s unique about this evening is that everyone in the building is connected to the same wireless Internet and the shared cost is paid out of their condominium fee. “We’ve been installing building-wide wireless Internet in our buildings for almost a year now,” says Kevin Kelliher of Lundgren Management. “It’s a significant cost savings to the unit owners.” Kelliher is not exaggerating. If 100 people in a condominium building pay $45 per month for their Internet, the total Internet cost adds up to $4,500 per month. Compare that to a building-wide shared WiFi costing as little as $150 per month for the same size building. That savings benefit makes it attractive for owners, and easy for condominium board members to justify installing the WiFi system. In addition to saving on Internet access costs, there also is measurable savings in electricity. A typical consumer router or modem uses about 47 watts of electricity. The WiFi repeaters use about 7 watts and serve five users each. Residents will save on taxes and the monthly FCC fees added to their Internet bills. In addition, residents who rent their equipment from their Internet provider also will save in equipment rental costs. I Board DecisionMaking Process Boards like the cost savings, but WiFi systems are complex and not easily understood. “It’s not difficult to explain the benefits of building-wide WiFi to condominium boards,” explains Heath Gatlin of Lundgren Management, “but every once and a while I’ll get a technical question that I will refer to the vendor for the answer.” Questions over security concerns are the most common topic about which board members and residents ask. Vendors install professional grade equipment that is more secure than a traditional home router. Anaptyx, a Watertownbased WiFi company, uses a propriety mesh network system that allow users to connect directly to the Internet preventing the data from being intercepted and viewed by others. Other vendors address security concerns by using commercialgrade data encryption. Depending on the needs of the condominium, the WiFi signal can be locked down so each individual user signs in using their own unique login ID and password. Otherwise, the vendor could establish a single building-wide password that all of the residents can use. If the condominium is located in a remote area, boards can decide to open the WiFi access for anyone to use without the need of a password. 36 CONDO MEDIA • AUGUST 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2010

Condo Media - August 2010
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Sue & Be Sued
Vendor Spotlight
Industry Perspective
Volunteer Spotlight
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory

Condo Media - August 2010