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All static, all day, Forever
·Dish Network
reply to ArgMeMatey

Re: Apartment buildings: Why don't they convert to VOIP?

said by ArgMeMatey:

Back in the post-divestiture, pre-1996 Telecom Act days, when LD was still a cash cow, I looked into this for the property management company I worked for.

Metropolitan Assoc by any chance? Just curious as it seemed like they owned a ton of apartment buildings when I lived there in '93-94.


Cary, NC
There are companies offering triple play into apartment complexes, student housing etc already. They are often selling it as a single choice solution, ie choose this or there is no other solution. A lot of newer apartment developers are going this route - at least in the South


Milwaukee, WI
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to UHF
said by UHF:

Metropolitan Assoc by any chance? Just curious as it seemed like they owned a ton of apartment buildings when I lived there in '93-94.

No, I moved here from out of state. But M.A. still does own a lot of stuff in this market.

Landlords are generally not good at providing complicated services; they are much better suited to providing a captive audience to which others can sell, while the landlords take their cut.

For example, cable aggressively pursues contracts that require exclusive use of existing inside coax to keep the barriers to entry high for any competitors. There's your VoIP right there, in a lot of cases. And they do kick back to the landlord: They might offer one free basic cable subscription for every 100 units under contract, and if they achieve specified penetrations, they will pay cash back to the landlord on a sliding scale.

(There are exceptions; laundry is a big business, and a management company with a big enough portfolio can hire an appliance repair person at a reasonable cost who can deal with laundry as well as stoves and refrigerators. The place I worked for had one guy just to maintain laundromat washers and dryers and another guy just for tenant unit appliances. And of course an (honest) trained monkey can collect the money.

One crucial difference between appliances and VoIP is that you can maintain a stock of spare appliances and put O-O-O signs on laundromat machines that don't work, but when somebody's phone is out, they're just going to camp out in the apartment office until their phone is fixed.)
Find your USNG coordinates:


Sheffield Lake, OH
reply to dsl2u
There's one other piece that is being forgotten about...

Delinquent clients. Most of the low price VOIP's are PayGo, or Pre-Pay. If you as the owner have a delinquent client, you turn off their phone, they want to call 911, the first time they can't they call a lawyer.

If the appartment owner had an in-house phone savvy IT staff, it could be done. If it were to be done, it'd make more sense in a Ritzy place. Think about it. Let's say the building chose CallCentric... October would have been RACKED with complaints. Or VOIP.ms in recent months was Racked with issues. You'd need a very sharp techie, redundant internet providers, power backup, Auto-Failover... so now it's not cheap anymore. It's pretty darn costly to provide that reliably.

I deal with too many people. You give the old lady in appartment C a Voip phone for 15$/mo, and she complains she can't plug her 1954 Wall phone in because she likes the way it fit her hand. Yeah, It does happen.

Issue number #47.... The "cost cutter" who won't order a Dish or Cable is going to be NetFlixing and Huluing you network to kingdom come, and then complaining if you throttle him.... the only reason you throttled him in the first place is so the phones worked and others had a chance to use the newtwork too.

Liability is the #1 concern as was already stated.... if there's a problem, let the phone company deal with the lawyers........ Sigh.

I've been in charge of a few "Free WiFi" at our appartment complexes... The little 2 floor joints worked well. The 7 floor place was SOOOO Saturated, I'd hate to even THINK about running VOIP on there. The ISP's want your soul for enough bandwidth, and then when someone's box in the building picks up and starts sending virii all over the place, you as the IT Guy have to break it to him that you're cutting off his internet until his computer gets fixed... He says it's not broken of course.

It IS plausible. but it's NOT fun... by any means.