Fiber connectivity is rapidly becoming an essential component in the provision of commercial real estate tenant services and property management.
Today connectivity is just as important as location, and while an optical fiber infrastructure provides the fastest and most reliable internet connection, there is also future long-term benefits to its deployment.
Let’s review some characteristics that genuinely make a fiber-based infrastructure future-proof.
1. Fiber outlasts copper
A fiber-based infrastructure is expected to last at least 40 years if not more. Fiber is made of glass, it has significant advantages in longevity compared with copper. Glass is inert, so it doesn’t generate much heat and require electrical current which makes it last longer. Glass is also a tougher material compared with copper which makes it more durable.
However, the future benefits derived from fiber connectivity far exceed longevity or durability.
2. Bandwidth capacity for tomorrow’s needs
Today consumers send 100 times more data than they did ten years ago and as the demand for more bandwidth expands optical fiber is capable of transmitting thousands and even millions of times as much data with minimal changes in equipment. In other words, the same cables installed now will be able to manage bandwidth requirements for data transmission and connectivity for years to come.
3. Future demand from IoT devices
When you consider the number of elevators, thermostats, security cameras, smoke alarms, and other devices deployed in commercial spaces having connectivity that can manage the increasing data transmission loads from IoT sensors and devices becomes more critical.
For example, a retailer may deploy hundreds of sensors to gain real-time data insights about high traffic locations and where to add more staff needs to have a reliable connection. As the deployment of IoT sensors and devices continues to increase at a significant rate – the fiber remains an everlasting backbone relays massive amounts of data in real-time.
4. Meeting future PSDN requirements
Optical fiber connectivity is becoming a significant requirement in the future implementation of Next Generation (NG9-1-1) services. The existing legacy network infrastructure systems utilized today minimally meet the bandwidth requirements for current users and are grossly inadequate for near or long-term future data transmission requirements. These stand-alone networks lack the high-speed universal data connectivity (or have no connectivity at all) required to support upcoming and next-generation applications.
Providing a single ultra-high speed connectivity source that allows for interconnection of the various public safety entities’ data networks will soon become vital to meet compliance requirements. As more municipalities adopt (PSDN) as a part of their NextGen 911 services building owners will have little option other than to meet these requirements by installing fiber cabling inside their properties.
5. Ready for 5G
Fiber is 5G ready and deployable. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in 2016 to open high-band spectrum for fifth generation (5G) expansion. While 5G is still several years away from deployment, it is likely that 5G mobile connectivity will likely become the societal standard and an optical fiber infrastructure will be required to utilize 5G. 5G and fiber-based connectivity will together provide large amounts of bandwidth and faster wireless internet connectivity both inside and outside the office buildings and public spaces.
6. Improves portfolio value
Improving portfolio value is one of the most critical aspects of real estate management and involves forecasting the long-term gains from the deployment of technology. As a matter of fact, in real estate future proofing is about making sure that the value or the investment and ROI increase over time. Fiber connectivity adds an average of 3.1% to a property’s value, according to a study by the University of Colorado.
A recent survey also found that renters were willing to pay 8% more for apartments with fiber-based connectivity and property owners added 10% to their net income from increased resident satisfaction and reduce tenant churn. Both of these factors directly impact the ROI of commercial real estate investment portfolios.