By Kathryn O’Leary

Much has been written (including by RealtyCom) about why property owners are implementing new property-wide Wi-Fi solutions. This 3-minute piece focuses on public area Wi-Fi coverage and key factors to success as you consider providing internet in common spaces.

Installation and service of public facing Wi-Fi for common areas in multi-family properties are an attractive amenity as they allow residents and their guests access to robust internet for their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. However, they have special considerations often overlooked during the design and construction phases:

1. The group designing and installing may not provide the ongoing “managed service” expected after installation. As third-party providers may not be willing to operate a system they have not installed, this can lead to unexpected costs and/or delays and less than optimal service.

2. The number and location of the Wireless Access Points needs to be determined using predictive heatmapping to mitigate the risk of poor signal quality from underinvestment or be overengineered and more costly than necessary.

3. The internet circuit supporting the service must have adequate capacity to support the likely users and the Wireless Access Points should all be wired in accordance with an LV design that will connect them to that circuit without exceeding recommended distance limitations.

4. The scopes of work of should be thoroughly reviewed. If the low voltage installer is different from the service provider, there may be gaps in their respective scopes of work that need to be found, negotiated, and resolved.

5. Compliance with State and Federal laws is always a concern. If the service is not truly a managed service in compliance with these CALEA or DMCA regulations, it may create liability for the property owner should there be criminal behavior on the “public network.”

6. The network must be secured and monitored adequately, to protect users and minimize risk of a breach which may result in data and identity theft, IoT device hijacking, ransomware attempts and other future threats.

RealtyCom offers its clients guidance on these and many other critical areas of telecommunication and technology negotiations, design and deployment in a new development project.

Please reach out to us at for more information or for a proposal on your next project.