Comcast and the MDU market - from students to seniors

Dec. 10, 2018
Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Xfinity Communities MDU unit announced recently that it added Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, and St. Thomas University in Miami to its growing list of schools that are ...

Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Xfinity Communities MDU unit announced recently that it added Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, and St. Thomas University in Miami to its growing list of schools that are now offering Xfinity On Campus to students. There are now more than 140 schools utilizing Xfinity On Campus nationwide.

"Video is not dead. Students still want to watch (video) in different ways, and live is one of the preferences," said Adrian Adriano, Xfinity Communities VP of Strategic Initiatives.

Schools want an entertainment experience that allows students to watch content on any device at any time. "The (universities) like that we bring a different network in to carry the content. The Internet network is used for academic studies," Adriano said. "Universities want to (offer) an academic foundation, but they also want students to have a nice life on campus."

From Xfinity's perspective, it's a win-win, as the product is introduced to students who might not otherwise live in Comcast's footprint. "Students get to see and feel what (Xfinity) looks like. When they move off campus, get their first job, live in center city in an MDU, get married and move to the suburbs (in a house with a homeowners association), and then (eventually) live in a senior living community, (Xfinity) will be there too," Adriano said.

While that is taking things well into the future, Adriano also shared insight into what Comcast expects the MDU market will look like in 2019.'In 2018, it was about getting gigabit Internet speeds available everywhere. 'Now that they are fairly ubiquitous for Xfinity Communities, 2019 will be about making life easier for property managers and residents. Studies indicate that almost half of MDU owners are interested in deploying smart building solutions, not just in common areas, but also where maintenance is concerned, Adriano said, noting leakage detection as one example.

"The (future) conversation (may not) be about speed, but about how better to control devices in your apartment. How to lock the door from anywhere and (how to) transfer control from the sales manager to the resident when a unit is leased," Adriano said.

Being able to reach the provider is also important, Adriano said. Buildings might have a resident portal to start a service request, upgrade or add features. Managers might have contact with a community account representative.

"The beauty of the manager portal is to track tickets and their progress," Adriano said. "It will be a fun year … a year of smart living and connected communities."

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