In 2019, the UK secured the 1% fibre penetration necessary to enter the European Fibre Broadband rankings. Ranked 34th behind developing economies like Belarus (40%) and Kazakhstan (15%) it’s no wonder that the level of UK demand for Fibre-to-the-Home is driving significant investment.

What does this all mean for student accommodation?

Like most of the UK, high-density buildings are still hampered by ageing and complex copper infrastructure. At best, accommodation operators and students in Student accommodation (PBSA) can expect to benefit from Fibre-to-the-Basement (FTTB) but may never get to see headline grabbing speeds and reliability which will make a significant impact to the lives of tech-reliant Millennials. That is unless the building has Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ (SFI™) installed.

SFI™ is much more than super-fast broadband and pervasive wireless. Investing in a future - proofed building infrastructure today ensures the property stays relevant, is a place that students will want to live in for generations with fibre fast broadband and Wi-Fi deployed into every student bedroom, apartment and communal areas.

What are the benefits?

  1. Future-proof investment Investment in student accommodation is set to continue, particularly in Europe. Delivering on those investments depends on full occupancy of the building, made more challenging by the relatively short duration of university courses and a short academic year. Installing SFI™ ensures the technology available for both operational teams and students will continue to meet the demand for at least 50 years and provide the foundation for smart buildings of the future.
  2. Future-proof infrastructure - Every 5 years, the headline speed of student internet services increases. Being able to maintain this trajectory requires an infrastructure capable of sustaining this growth. SFI™ fibre technology is more advanced, resilient and flexible so Wi-Fi speeds can be increased to meet demand and smart protocols can be introduced to support consumer IoT (Internet of Things) like wireless printers and Alexa. Similarly, SFI™ will provide the infrastructure to enable Building Management Systems and drive the operational efficiency of the building using other wireless languages like Zigbee and Bluetooth.
  3. Operator owns the infrastructure - In a traditional residential property with infrastructure installed by BT or Virgin they own that infrastructure right up to wireless access point. New fibre providers are entering the crowded market to build and operate full fibre networks and challenge BT and Virgin. When SFI™ is installed the future-proof infrastructure is owned by the operator and supported by Glide for the duration of the contract. This added peace of mind empowers operators to extract every discernable operational efficiency from the network.
  4. Maximise resident satisfaction - The dependency on fast, reliable, pervasive and high-speed Wi–Fi will only increase as students need higher bandwidth. Entertainment services like Ultra High Definition (UHD) streaming and Virtual Reality online gaming are becoming mainstream and previously local services like playing music have become cloud services like Spotify, resulting in the need for higher bandwidth. SFI™ gives building operators the platform to use this technology to support happier, healthier and safer students and to differentiate their buildings from the competition.
  5. Save money and maximise operational efficiency - The primary focus of the operator is raising operational efficiency and keeping costs down whilst delivering a first-class student experience. Operations teams are limited in their ability to improve efficiency or enhance student experience because they are limited by the tools and bandwidth available to them. What if the student didn’t have to complain about a fault, or a member of the team didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to fix a problem? What if bills were automatically paid and the staff were empowered to learn new systems? What if the operations team can focus their efforts on serving students rather than servicing the building? With SFI™ there are no limitations on the scope of any Building Management System.
  6. Takes up a lot less space - By running on a seamless fibre network cable with no switches and a single comms cabinet, SFI™ easily surpasses traditional cabling systems. This means no more wasting space with network switches for every 90 metres of cable, fans for every switch, communications (comms) cabinets on every floor and splitters for every apartment. SFI™ supports architectural innovation, giving creators more space to mould the learning spaces of the young. Empowering them to enrich the student experience - free from the burden of working round the spatial constrictions of legacy technology.
  7. Activate submetering - A seamless fibre network connecting every building service means submetering can be easily deployed over Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ so operators can access and analyse energy consumption on a granular scale. By moving away from the performance of the whole building to room by room analysis allows the operator to drill into key areas of overuse and regain control of utilities.
  8. Activate managed thermostat heating - Saving money one room at a time. A managed thermostat solution controlled by the landlord. Individual room thermostats added to the overall building heating system will allow students to control their home-from-home environment, be mindful of green credentials whilst retaining overall control for the operator.
  9. Protect the building from water damage - Stop money going down the drain. Making dumb plumbing smart means operators can measure the water flow and the water temperature of the building. This means proactive monitoring and prevention of leaks and water loss that costs time, money and reputation damage.
  10. Save the environment - Not only do traditional cabling systems waste space, they also waste energy in a way that is impossible to justify. Legacy cabling systems consume large amounts of electricity 24 hours a day, every day, requiring cooling equipment, monitoring equipment for network switches to function. This also creates lots of potential points of failure. But this can be easily remedied with the introduction of a single comms cabinet – translating into more free space, energy, and time when SFI™ is introduced.

Receive the Smart Block 2020 white paper by following this link.

Managed Internet Service for University and Student Accommodation

Enhance your students’ online experience with better Wi-Fi for student accommodation. From in depth monthly service reports, annual reviews, marketing materials to a student friendly Service Desk and onsite support, Glide will provide everything you need for a fully reliable managed internet service for both you and your students.

Wi-Fi for Student Accommodation

Students want to be constantly connected, wherever they are. Glide’s best in class intelligent pervasive Wi-Fi means that students can enjoy a seamless internet connection across their multiple devices wherever they are in their student accommodation. Plus, all the support they need.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out about our fully managed internet service. Call us on 03333 800 800 or drop us an email at, or find out more details on our website

No time to chat? Get a Quick Quote for your student accommodation here.