A Student Housing apartment wall jack after several years of painting and repairs
Turn tip: Buy a big bag of modular jacks – they’re inexpensive – and make sure your painters insert them in the jacks before painting, and remove them when painting is complete. (Before using them they must be crimped to avoid damaging the jacks)
PHILADELPHIA December 02, 2017
Student Housing owners and operators probably don’t think too much about the low-voltage wiring in your properties once they’ve been built and the residents have moved in. It just works, and it’s invisible, so why should this be an issue?
If Student Housing properties were all built in the last few years and were built to the correct specifications, one could be right, you don’t need to worry about it much – but many property owners and managers have older properties in their portfolios, or newer properties that have been built to an unknown and possibly sub-par specification and standards.
Does this sound like a boring subject? Let CTI try and regain readers' attention: Student Housing owners and operators could be sitting on a ticking time-bomb – a six figure problem per property. Here’s why: even in today’s wireless centric student living communities, the wired network is an essential component. It’s the workhorse that delivers data to connected gaming consoles, TV’s and streaming devices in the unit, to the Wireless access points that deliver wireless signal, and increasingly CCTV and access control as well.
The wiring this white paper is talking about is UTP wiring, sometimes referred to as Category or Cat6 (or Cat5, or Cat5E as its predecessors).
So how can that be a big problem? Well, when properties are built, the UTP wiring is an easy and common target for Value Engineering, aka saving money. Using a lower grade or no-brand components, using unqualified installers, not following an appropriate specification –all these things can and will cause issues. Even if you didn’t value engineer your new construction low voltage wiring, it’s probable that it wasn’t built to an adequate standard.
Chances are that Student Housing owners and operators don’t have much of an idea of the state of the wiring infrastructure in your properties.
In some cases, it can just be too old –some properties were wired 15-20 years ago, and the wiring just isn’t up to the job. In others, the wiring can be fit for purpose, but the jacks on the wall are worn out, broken or filled with paint from countless turns, or unreliable from many previous repairs.
The demands and expectations of the wiring are increasing with time, and older wiring may not be able to support the bandwidth that you may need to deliver to be competitive in a market. With many properties delivering well over 100 megabits a second per bed, and current Wireless Access Points needing 1,000 megabits and beyond, an older infrastructure may not be able to cope.
The main point to make here is that the cost of having to remediate wiring problems can be jaw-dropping, and you absolutely have to remediate them –student residents will not tolerate poor internet service under any circumstances. Poor service will directly affect your occupancy and your NOI.
All is not lost. There are several strategies that you can adopt to understand and avoid these risks. You can find those discussed in great detail in the White Paper on Student Housing Technology Best Practice: Avoiding The Wiring Trap
Campus Technologies is a national vertically integrated managed network service provider designing, building and operating highly effective wired and wireless networks exclusively in student housing. See more at http://www.campustechnologies.com
ANSI/TIA-568.0-D, Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises, Ed. D, 09-2015
ANSI/TIA-568.1-D, Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Ed. D, 09-2015
ANSI/TIA-568-C.2, Balanced Twisted-Pair Telecommunication Cabling and Components Standard, Ed. C, Err. 04-2014
PDF file of this white paper is available at https://www.campustechnologies.com/single-post/2017/11/29/Student-Housing-Technology-Best-Practice-Avoiding-the-wiring-trap
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