Industry News

Apartment industry looks cautiously at broadband

Property owners weigh costs, benefits of high-speed Internet

A year or so ago, it wasn't surprising to see new tenants rushing to sign up for new digital cable services or ordering high-speed DSL. That was the reality, until recently. Today, the apartment and condominium industry looks a bit different, with a slowly recovering economy and ongoing cost-cutting measures pushing some to take a step back from the broadband revolution. "Broadband infrastructure was a much bigger deal in previous years during the telecom boom," said Richard Stadtmauer, vice chairman and managing partner of Kushner Co. "At the time it was important for all residents to have high-speed Internet access." But a majority of companies providing that infrastructure and access have since disappeared. "A few years ago there were a number of companies who would work with the local phone company, pay for the infrastructure upgrade in the (multiple-dwelling-unit) building, and then get a share of the revenue," Stadtmauer said. "Many of those companies had severe financial ...