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Five Network Infrastructure Considerations for Commercial Real Estate Leaders

Dec 2022
Digital Buildings Enterprise Smart Buildings

The global commercial real estate sector faces growing uncertainty around how buildings will be used and valued in the coming years. Business needs and expectations have continued to shift and grow in the wake of the pandemic, particularly with regards to the rise of hybrid work. As a result, many companies are scaling back their offices and paying less attention to location and far more emphasis on their abilities to accommodate remote workforces. There’s also an increasing focus on innovations like smart offices and automated building management. Thus it has never been more important for CRE leaders to prioritize network infrastructure in their strategic decision-making.

Here are the five most important considerations:

#1. Copper vs. fiber cabling

Copper cabling has served as the backbone of business connectivity for decades. This tried-and-tested infrastructure is cost-effective and supports most common connected devices in use today including wireless technologies such as routers and range extenders, and common security devices. Fiber, however, is also a reliable and scalable choice for mission-critical infrastructure and high-bandwidth, low-latency applications, including distributed antenna systems, AV over IP and high-performance cloud computing. While that’s not to suggest that CRE leaders should abandon copper cabling, they should prioritize fiber-optic infrastructure in their development projects to better meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s tenants.

Panduit offers a full line of innovative copper products to support all of today's most common IP applications including PoE and wireless technologies, as well as comprehensive fiber optic systems, including cabling, that deliver high performance, reliability, and efficiency.

#2. Wired versus wireless networking

While wired networks are more reliable than wireless ones because they are less susceptible to interference, CRE leaders need to support both to the highest possible standard, and that means using scalable structured cabling to provide wired connectivity throughout the premises while also using strategically placed wireless range extenders to provide wireless connectivity. Also important are cellular signal boosters for amplifying 4G and 5G signals indoors.

#3. Health and safety

Correct cable management is vital for maintaining electrical safety in the workplace. For example, copper cabling can be vulnerable to heat and humidity if it’s not correctly installed. This can lead to degraded signal quality and, at worst, a heightened risk of electrical fault and fire. Safe cable management must be a top priority for commercial property owners.

#4. Ease of upgrades and maintenance

Commercial tenants need to feel that their network infrastructure can support both change and growth. The workplace is an increasingly dynamic environment, with individual offices being transformed and teams being reassembled over and over. To guarantee a smooth process, tenants need the freedom to add and remove access points at will. Structured cabling makes this possible by simplifying management and making it easy to install new equipment.

#5. Support for smart building applications

Smart buildings are setting new standards that commercial property developers need to pay close attention to if they’re to stay relevant. Smart buildings revolve around connected systems ranging from sensors that collect operational data to smart signage to electronic door locks. Tenants are increasingly looking to leverage smart building tech to reduce costs, keep workers engaged, and enable better monitoring and maintenance of their premises. To accommodate these needs, property owners must be able to provide both wired and wireless connectivity throughout the premises, including in areas that aren’t usually occupied.

Panduit offers scalable network infrastructure solutions to commercial real estate developers and property owners and their tenants. Get in touch to see how we can support your projects.

Download our solution guide, Network Infrastructure for Commercial Real Estate, to learn more about robust, reliable solutions for commercial real estate environments. You can also learn more at


Monte Turnage