Google Fiber Can Be a Tough Sell to Apartment Owners
Olathe Daily News (07/01/13) Stice, Alicia
Providing super-speed Internet connectivity might soon be as critical to drawing residents to apartment communities as on-site washers and dryers and off-street parking. However, the upfront cost of wiring large numbers of rental units to Google Fiber could be too steep for some owners and managers. That, in turn, could set the stage for a deep digital divide in some markets between homeowners and apartment residents. The concern is that the latter may be left with significantly slower ordinary download speeds than those who own their homes. Google currently requires apartment owners to foot the $300-per-unit installation cost. Multiply that across a large community -- the Internet giant insists on running the wires to all apartments in a given community or none -- and the price quickly adds up. For example, installing Google Fiber throughout a community with 350 apartments would cost the owner over $100,000.
According to Mike Gottfried, Google Fiber’s head of sales, the company currently has no plans to offer bulk discounts. However, he notes that Google does allow the payments to be made in installments over the span of one year. Aaron Deacon, managing director of KC Digital Drive, forecasts that as more apartments get high-bandwidth Internet, owners and managers will come under increased pressure to offer such service. "You have a real competitive advantage if you offer fiber connection," he remarked. "It may be an advantage right now. It may be more recognizable in two or three years."
Abstract News © Copyright 2013 INFORMATION, INC.