Provide and charge wifi?

11 Replies

I'm considering providing wifi for the tenants in my 12 unit building in NB. The plan would be to charge a fee that would be cheaper than what the tenant would otherwise pay but with enough margin to make to worth it for me.

I've yet to find anyone whos actually done it successfully, nor did I have much luck finding info online so I wondered if anyone here has. 

Curious to hear your guys experience or thoughts. 

Ryan

My first thought, after having kids who complain, is that the minute the wifi goes out for any reason, you are expected to fix it. People today can't handle not having wifi. Then it's gonna be asking for discounts for any amount of time it was down during the month, etc...

I provide internet and WiFi at my rooming house and I resell Internet and WiFi at one of my property and as Bill said: you will be expected the fix it and also you will be expected to provide really good internet and WiFi. Why do I do it? I am a network admin and I actually provide those 2 houses with enterprise solutions, so not only I provide them with something better they have ever experienced but there is also not much to go wrong and I don't mind supporting it. Something to keep in mind as well is most people that are not tech savy as soon as "something" goes wrong with their devices they will blame it on "the internet" or "the WiFi".

I would not advise going this route unless you have some experience in IT and don't mind supporting it.

Originally posted by @Ryan Kenneth :

Making service/ house calls could indeed be a pain.  Though wouldn't that be the responsibility of the property manager or the ISP ?

If you use the ISP hardware exclusively than it potentially could be but you would need to make sure they can access the account on your behalf... Might not be easy for them to place a service call if the account is under your name. I may be wrong but I'm not sure most property manager would want to support that either?

Fair point Anthony.  Thanks, Bill for the insight also.  I will try track down an ISP provider to find out whos responsibly the service calls fall on and evaluate if it's worth it from there. 

@Ryan Kenneth

Keep in mind, wifi in your name means you’re the tech support. Provider likely won’t troubleshoot with a random caller not on file. If you provide, make clear, tech support = “have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in” auto response via email only and no downtime will be at your detriment (ie: no deductions for drop in service).

@Ryan Kenneth great points on here given by others. My concern would be the tenants use of the WiFi that you could be held responsible for. Downloading illicit content could fall back on you. In this day and age of pirating music, games and movies, your internet provider will give you up in a NY minute to the authorities.

As someone who works for an ISP, DON'T DO IT.  The tenants will not be able to contact the ISP if they need help, unless they are listed on the account as well as you. (I have to go through training on that every year, and the federal laws associated with that*)  If they download something illegal, your name will be associated with the IP address that was used, not the tenants.  You will be the one in court.  If you are charging tenants for the wifi, it may be against the terms of service for your account.  The ISP finds out, they can shut your service down, and not provide service to the address. 

*I just realized you are in Canada, so I can't speak for Canadian laws

I would not do it just because they will find something to complain about, its too slow, it goes out when the weather is bad, etc. and want a discount.

Also, I have two teens, and when they and their friends are here they each watch sooo many videos on their phones, play games, etc. all at the same time, that I can not even do things on my computer.  For many units, what capacity would you need---especially if they have a few kids all demanding service too!  Even worse if the kids have Zoom classroom all day!