Memphis, Tenn. — The partnerhship will focus on improving network services at EdR's properties and developing new technology initiatives.
Memphis, Tenn. — EdR has purchased a 10 percent interest in Elauwit Networks, an investment that EdR is calling "nominal," but one the REIT says will provide long-term operational benefits.
Elauwit provides Internet access and high-definition video and telephone service. The company has been in the broadband and network service business since 1989 but has shifted its primary focus to the student housing industry for the past three years. In addition to EdR, its clients are among the largest student housing owner-operators, including American Campus Communities, Campus Crest Communities and The Preiss Company.
Fast, reliable Internet service has always been one of the most important offerings in collegiate housing, and many in the industry say it's just as important, if not more so, than running water and electricity in the minds of today's students. In this partnership, Scott Casey, chief technology officer with EdR, and Elauwit Networks CEO Barry Rubens will co-chair a committee created to support the sharing of data and user feedback with the goal of developing new products and services, Casey says.
EdR says the benefits of the partnership are reduced network operating costs and opportunities to create innovative enhancements and generate ancillary income. The publicly traded student housing REIT has approximately $442.3 million of potential new assets under contract or in development for delivery in 2013 and 2014.
"Our equity interest in Elauwit will secure reliable and superior technology services for the No. 1 amenity desired by our residents, whose Internet and bandwidth consumption grows every day," says Christine J. Richards, EdR's senior vice president and chief operating officer.