As many Americans continue to work, attend virtual school and spend the majority of their free time at home, access to fast, reliable internet has never been more important. While a slow at-home connection used to be frustrating, now it can mean the difference between getting important work done or getting left out.

Unsurprisingly, renters are now prioritizing access to fast internet service when they look for their next home, and evidence shows that demand will only continue to grow, even once the country returns to business as usual.

The 2020 National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Associates Apartment Resident Preferences Report, which surveyed apartment renters in 2019 before the pandemic hit, found that high-speed Internet was important to 91.7% of residents.

Fiber internet blueprint from CenturyLink

“Today’s tenants are looking for the most robust internet speeds they can find,” said CenturyLink Sales Engineering Manager Justin Johnson. “It’s up to owners to work with internet companies to make sure they are providing the fastest service possible.”

Controlling WiFi speeds can be a difficult task. Johnson said several factors, including network equipment, traffic, wall thickness and even a neighbor’s WiFi can impact the speed of a user’s internet connection. CenturyLink has strategies for combating some of these issues, including software within its system that can monitor a user’s WiFi speed and make adjustments to the modem as needed to improve their connection.

Johnson said the key to delivering top internet speeds to tenants is to bring a fiber internet connection as close to tenants as possible — ideally directly to their unit. The most effective way to do this is to address tenant connectivity needs during the construction process and install fiber-optic cable directly into the units. That way, Johnson explained, as technology changes, building owners and internet providers will be able to easily install new tools to upgrade a building’s connection capabilities.

“The closer you can get fiber to someone, the better,” Johnson said. “This helps reduce latency, making internet speeds much faster, and overall giving the tenant a much better online experience.”

Of course, tenants in new buildings aren’t the only ones who understand the value of high-speed internet. For owners of existing properties, Johnson said that CenturyLink offers solutions to help them take their internet to the next level.

“We will evaluate your building and determine the best ways to boost your connection using your existing copper wiring,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to start from scratch. We have the tools and the expertise to work with what you already have and bring your internet speeds where tenants need them to be.”

Family game night with CenturyLink internet

Right now, with everyone working from home, the challenge for building owners is how to install these new tools with minimal disruption to their tenants. Johnson said that CenturyLink has developed a solution to this issue. The company’s G.fast and G.hn fiber-based solutions can be installed on a building’s existing copper network without having to interfere with residents’ internet connections at all, and can deliver speeds of up to 940 megabits per second.

Johnson added that along with these in-building tools, CenturyLink also offers solutions that the end user can install in their unit to boost their internet connection, like high-end modems and routers.

CenturyLink engineers build customized solutions for every property. CenturyLink fiber service usually includes 100% fiber-optic network to a residence, however, in limited circumstances, CenturyLink may create a solution to deploy alternative technologies coupled with a non-fiber connection from a certain point — usually the curb — to a residence in order to provide the advertised download speeds.

When building owners can find a way to deliver fiber connection directly to their tenants, the result is not just a better-connected resident base, but a happier one as well.

“Our internet speeds and reliability were not meeting the needs of our residents to accommodate today’s work, learn and play at home lifestyles,” said Peter Hortensius, a board member at the River Forest Homeowner’s Association in Littleton, North Carolina. “The CenturyLink Connected Communities team provided a solution, partnership, and implementation that was an overall positive experience. The speeds will now meet the demands of today, future growth, and with our partners in The Connected Communities team, we feel we are in this together.”

Learn more about CenturyLink Connected Communities

This article was originally posted on https://www.bisnow.com/blogs/centurylink on March 8, 2021, and was produced in collaboration between the Bisnow Branded Content Studio and CenturyLink.