High Speed Internet for Tenants - Posted by Natasha(MD)

Posted by Chris_NJ on October 02, 2003 at 11:05:08:

Good point js.

Adding to that, I’d be very careful to comb through Comcast’s agreement for anything regarding reselling internet services purchased through them. Assuming that each of your tenants could potentially have their own cable TV service through Comcast, each could also sign-up for high-speed cable internet as well. Comcast is most likely aware of this, and would probably prefer to collect $58 from each tenant themselves. Their contract may have inclusions preventing business customers from acting as “Internet Service Providers” and reselling bandwidth to potential customers of theirs.

I’m not sure if this is the case, but if so my guess would be that Comcast is most likely monitoring for it. I’ve heard horror stories about capped bandwidth and suspended service for “infractions” as simple as running a file-sharing program from one’s home. (with various cable services, not just Comcast) Unfortunately this may be a stickier issue than it appears.

That said, your idea to offer high-speed internet already built-in to your units is very good. There are sellers of bandwidth out there who will allow you to buy and resell their service, with what is often called an “ISP” account. Not sure of the prices (may be prohibitive) but its worth a look if Comcast doesn’t allow reselling.

Hope this helps.

-Chris_NJ

High Speed Internet for Tenants - Posted by Natasha(MD)

Posted by Natasha(MD) on October 01, 2003 at 17:55:43:

I have a 10 unit market rate apartment building which is rented to mostly professional and graduate students. I surveyed the tenants asking them if they would pay $20 extra/mo for high speed internet and they all said “yes”. I will have one cable modem in the basement and a router to share the cable modem. My cost will be $57.95/mo to Comcast and the installation charge. My question is should I have a separate agreement for this service? If so, what should I put in the agreement to protect us? If anyone already has a service like this in their buildings, please let me know how it is working out.

Thanks

Re: High Speed Internet for Tenants - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on October 01, 2003 at 19:21:51:

Natasha,
What a great idea!
I like it.
I’ve seen some larger apartment complexes touting a “High speed internet network connection available”.
They were charging a monthly fee for this service.
I like the idea of offering it.
I am not too hip on the idea of making it available for a monthly fee.
What if the tenant does not pay that monthly fee.
Do you want to go over there and unplug them from the “basement router”.
Sounds like a pain.
Rather, I think if you add such a nice feature, add it to the lease.
Make an addendum for each party to sign, to their existing lease, that rents will be raised by $20/month, for the duration of their lease, to which the tenants agree. In turn, you will be furnishing "AT NO COST to the tenant, FREE high speed cable internet service connection."
Perhaps place some legal squibble in there how you are not liable for any outages of service etc, as you will be subcontracting out the connection to the local cable company providing such a service.

By making this additional fee part of the rent, you can enforce payment a little easier.
Besides, when one goes vacant, you can offer the new potential tenants this GREAT APARTMENT with FREE HIGH SPEED Internet Connection! (For $50 more than current rent to boot for the new folks.)

Anyway, just my thoughts,
Jim FL

P.S. You might want to look into getting some sort of service agreement with the cable company to maintain the lines inside the place as well, if it is not included in the monthly charge. Phone companies do this, and for a busy landlord, it would seem well worth a small fee. (Tenants are paying for it anyway.)

Re: High Speed Internet for Tenants - Posted by js-Indianapolis

Posted by js-Indianapolis on October 01, 2003 at 19:19:15:

Uhm, let’s say, just for instance, that I’m sharing my high speed cable access with my neighbor. It’s not legal that way. Not that I actually bought a router, hub, and 300’ of CAT5 cable and buried it through my back yard, or anything.

$58 a month is for personal use. Using it for business would require an account upgrade. Having 10 college students downloading God knows what for hours upon hours a day might make the network lag a tad bit. They wouldn’t be happy, and I’d bet the cable company would get a little suspicious when they see 10,000GB of throughput each month.

Solution is to first think this through further. A business account at $200 a month and charging the renters another $40 each will get you $200 extra dollars a month. As opposed to your idea of the high speed access made slow which would only net you $142.05 a month.

Oh yeah, the agreement? No clue. Just jack the rent? I wanted to give you a heads up on the tech side of the project.