Every Tenant's Connectivity Wish List
WiredScore UK Director William Newton believes in world-class connectivity for every building in London—and he’s on a mission to make that a reality. WiredScore makes the news when it certifies a building Platinum, like it did recently with the Shard. But William tells us all tenants in every building have a "wish list" about connectivity. We talked with the Connectivity King about those expectations and how landlords and developers can meet them.
The first thing tenants want, William tells us, is a quick setup. Potential tenants want assurance that they can move into the building and get connected right away. William tells us he’s heard horror stories of businesses being reduced to relying on 3G dongles for months on end as they wait for legal documents to be signed, which is far too common and can significantly impact a business’ productivity.
One fix? Having a standardised wayleave document in place, which can be a massive support for new tenants in helping speed up the process of getting connected. The new Standardised Wayleave Toolkit offered by the City of London is just one measure being taken to provide broadband providers, landlords, developers and businesses with the documentation they need to get the UK's businesses connected.
The second issue is price. The cost of internet access is always going to be a key factor for businesses—and while this responsibility may appear to lie with the broadband providers, landlords and developers still have a role to play in enabling choice, William says.
Having the option to shop around is crucial to ensure that businesses are getting the best price for their broadband speed requirements. Offering a number of ISPs and having secure space available for new ISPs to easily come in and offer services helps avoid tenants getting locked into an internet provider with a monopoly on the building—and the prices to match.
Landlords can also reduce high upfront costs for installation by having the best infrastructure in place, including pre-built chambers for fibre optic cable that any company can use in the street.
Lastly, and most importantly, tenants want to ensure that the internet stays on. While there are quick-fix options for other building problems, such as putting on a jumper if a building’s heating breaks or fetching bottles if there’s a problem with the water, when there’s no internet, employees are forced out of the office to work from home or local coffee shops.
Landlords need to make infrastructure investments to minimise the risk of disruption and provide the possibility of backup connections to make sure a business never goes offline, William says. This year alone builders cutting through fibre optic cables, and localised fires have cost hundreds of hours of productive time from businesses.