Communication on residential estates

October 2016 Residential Estate (Industry), Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure

We are continually reminded that in many cases the reason for failure in business or in our work environment is due to the lack of, or bad communication.

Communication, whether in business, estate living or any other aspect of our day-to-day lives, is what gives us the information we need to live effectively every day.

How communication takes place, whether between the multitude of devices available these days, or between people is of absolutely vital importance. Lack of communication and bad communication can make things go horribly wrong, and more often than not, things do go wrong.

So why do we need to consider communication on estates? In all cases, estates are closed communities that, in the first instance, want security, then quality of life and finally increasing property values. It is interesting that the quality of the communication offering has an impact on all three needs.

• The security company must have good radio and telephone communication amongst their staff to be able to operate effectively. We have seen this technology move from analogue too digital, with big advantage. Analogue is the technology that has been with us for over a hundred years. The digital age has changed this so that it not only gives much clearer voice communication, but provides location information as well.

• The ability to contact any resident from the security control room and vice versa is a big advantage.

• The security equipment requires a communication infrastructure to be able to transfer video and data.

• Everybody needs to be on the Internet and be able to receive and send emails.

• Consumers, in particular the homeowners, are looking for fast Internet connectivity to watch movies, play games, interconnected sports training and much more.

• Research has clearly shown that the residential homes that are connected to fast fibre Internet have higher value than those that don’t.

• And then there is the increasing talk of the Internet of Things (IoT). This new term is about everything being interconnected. Even motor cars are connecting to the Internet.

• The requirement for VOIP (Voice over IP) telephone solutions is increasing.

And I am sure the list will get longer as you think about the need for fast reliable communication in our everyday lives.

The estates are therefore being pressed to make decisions that will impact on their success in this field for many years, in a difficult market. It is probably best to summarise the requirements as follows:

• A flexible solution that will always allow for changes in technology and services, often called ‘Future Proofing’.

• A financial model that is market related and results in a fair outcome for all parties. If it is not, the solution will be short lived. It’s no good having a free installation with a high cost of service delivery.

• Clear understanding of whom, HOA/service provider/ network owner/homeowner and so on, owns what part of the network.

• A position that ensures that the estate can never be held to ransom by one provider, as well as some sort of protection for the provider selected, while they are performing. You don’t want to have the service provider change with every change of HOA board of directors.

• A clear understanding of the legal position of all the parties involved in the communication solutions. This could be a fibre network or a radio network that requires licences to operate. There should be a document to ensure that there is no misunderstanding.

• Have a clear picture of the solutions chosen so that all parties can see the advantages of the chosen systems.

As a final point it is particularly difficult to evaluate the offerings, when the technical marketing is often presented to make products look better than they really are. There is no doubt that the way forward in making choices in all the modern communication decisions needs to be supported by solid technical and legal support to protect the estates into the future.

The following from Steve Burnett just may be appropriate: “Regardless of the changes in technology, the market for well-crafted messages will always have an audience.”


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