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What to Ask Before Choosing a Managed WiFi Vendor

wifi provider questions to ask

Touched by your residents more than their lights or hot water, the Internet has become a required utility, and managed WiFi is the perfect way to deliver the utility to your tenants. Tenants believe that the Internet should just work—no questions asked, no matter where they are in your building or on your property.   

You want happy tenants, and you recognize the competitive advantage and potential income that managed WiFi offers. You also know that installing managed WiFi can require a substantial capital investment, so you need to do it right the first time, with a vendor you can trust and rely on. But how do you find the best vendor? What should you require, and what questions should you ask? 

Things to Know 

  • Managed WiFi installation and setup are not plug-and-play. Select a vendor that has experience serving your housing market, who uses high-quality equipment, and begins the process with a thorough analysis of your property, coverage needs, end users, and environment.
  • Following the needs analysis, the vendor should provide you with a detailed implementation plan that documents performance expectations, user security & data protection, hardware specifications, a cloud-based user registration & management system, implementation schedule, and all fees.
  • Build for the future. Technology, building codes, data demands, and the environment are in a constant state of change. Confirm that the vendor’s proposed management WiFi plan is forward-thinking and won’t be obsolete in a year or two.  
  • The managed WiFi system will require periodic updates and equipment repairs. Check references to confirm the vendor’s commitment to maintaining their system with little or no disruption of your core business functions.
  • Your employees are most likely not internet and IT specialists, so they should not be expected to serve as your tenants’ technical support team. Your vendor should be able to demonstrate 24x7 network monitoring and support. Ideally, the managed WiFi vendor will know about and respond to equipment and service issues with little or no assistance from your staff and will communicate with your tenants regularly to confirm satisfaction. 

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Questions to Ask

When looking for a managed WIFI vendor, here are some key questions and considerations that you want to keep in mind when speaking to them: 

  • Is the company a startup?
  • Have they been in business or operating for less than 5 years?  
  • Do they have investors? (Investors may prioritize profit over service quality.)
  • Are they cash flow positive?
  • Have they been through renewals with their customers?  
    • What percentage of their customers have been through at least one renewal?
    • If agreements typically have 5-, 7-, or 10-year terms and the company hasn’t been around that long, how have they planned for the next technology cycle?  
    • They have never had a customer renew an agreement if they haven’t been around longer than one of their agreements.
  • Will they provide you with at least five references for properties exactly like yours that you can call and talk to?
  • Do they use the right equipment for MDU-managed WiFi: Ruckus is the best-performing hardware.
  • Are you looking at doing WiFi only? No Ethernet Drops?
    • If a provider says they will do this, you should walk away. It is not worth installing a system that won’t be sustainable for the future. WiFi-only systems are doomed and destined to fail. You must have Ethernet to every unit for a multitude of reasons. The best systems have Ethernet to every unit and even to every bedroom.  
    • If your residents play video games, they will need an ethernet port. Video gaming over WiFi in MDUs is unreliable just due to the nature of WiFi. So it is very important that you have an ethernet port that they can plug into. 
  • Does the provider deploy IPv4 and IPv6?
  • How will the vendor protect your residents’ Personal Identifiable Information (PII)? 


Finding a provider that has been doing this for a long time and has successfully managed a wide variety of projects is important. Each project presents unforeseen challenges, and you don't want your vendor making a best guess or experimenting on your multi-million-dollar asset and with your customers.   

Once the network is built and operational, confirm how well the provider will support your residents: 

  • What is their customer satisfaction rating on trouble tickets?
  • What is their average time to resolve a trouble ticket?
  • What percentage of their customers open a trouble ticket on an annual basis?
  • Do they have a 3rd party that will monitor your property and verify any up-time or bandwidth claims?  
  • Do they provide you with real-time direct access to trouble ticket reports and actual ticket details?
  • Do they integrate with your Property Management Software? 
  • What is their customer satisfaction rating on trouble tickets?
  • What is their average time to resolve a trouble ticket?
  • What percentage of their customers open a trouble ticket on an annual basis?
  • Do they have a 3rd party that will monitor your property and verify any up-time or bandwidth claims?  
  • Do they provide you with real-time direct access to trouble ticket reports and actual ticket details?
  • Do they integrate with your Property Management Software? 

Each of the topics listed below poses unique challenges. Make sure a potential provider has experience with multiple project types, especially those relevant to your property(ies):  

  • New construction (Green Field) vs. Existing Construction (Brown Field)
  • Construction Type:
    • Concrete and Steel (Dox Plank)
    • Wood Frame
  • Building Style:
    • Garden Style (multi-building property)
    • Motel Conversion 
    • Mid-Rise
    • High-Rise
  • Resident Type:
    • Mixed Use
    • Student 
    • Senior 
    • Affordable housing 
    • Conventional 
    • Conventional luxury 
    • Condo Association 
  • Coverage Type: 
    • Elevator Coverage 
    • Parking lot coverage 
    • Outdoor Coverage 
  • Climate:
    • Hot 
    • Cold 
    • Heavy lightning area 
  • Responsibilities: 
    • Owner or Provider doing Low Voltage Drawings/Plan? 
    • Owner or Provider doing Low Voltage Wiring? 
    • Owner or Provider installing conduit between buildings? 
    • Provider dealing with permitting in different municipalities? 
    • Interior Data Closets with HVAC? Exterior Data Closets with HVAC? 
    • Will you provide generator power to the data closets? 
  • Current Resident State (With existing residents) 
    • Add new service drops to each unit 
    • Takeover (migrating from a different provider where customers have existing service) 

Keeping these questions in mind will help ensure you pick the right managed WiFi vendor. After all, no one wants to invest a lot of money only to have the project fail or result in frustrated tenants who aren’t getting the service or help they deserve. 

At Dojo Networks®, the core of our philosophy is Fanatical Resident Support. Everything we do is built around providing your residents with a frictionless Internet and WiFi experience. From 24/7 support to our Elemento™ single-screen support system, we are committed to ensuring that your residents rave about the quality of the Internet in your properties. 

About Dojo Networks®: 

Dojo has been providing internet to MDU apartment buildings since 2002. 

Dojo has been building large-scale, highly supported WiFi networks since 2006. 

Dojo has been serving the MDU space for over 20 years and has been through up to 5 renewals with customers with 100% retention. 

Dojo customers experience less than a 0.5% annual ticket/trouble rate. 

Dojo doesn’t have any 3rd party investors and hasn't needed any. We are cashflow positive and don't have outsiders forcing us to squeeze out more margin or profitability at the expense of our customers (you). 

Want references? Dojo will happily put you in direct contact with customers we serve, so you get a firsthand account of the Dojo. Networks® experience from businesses like yours. 

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