With the number of IP-connected devices in the average home continuing to rise at a rapid pace (especially in the face of COVID-19’s work-from-home and stay-at-home trends) the pressure is on for ISP integrators and residential builders to keep pace making the average home smarter for the long haul.

That doesn’t mean simply installing a smart home hub or control panel and offering a complimentary voice assistant speaker. It means creating a robust smart home infrastructure inside the home, one that can be adapted over time and evolve with shifting trends.

Creating a Purpose-Built Structured Wiring Network

It may seem counter-intuitive in the face of more wireless and Wi-Fi devices being used in the home, but easy access to Ethernet ports throughout is more desirable than ever.

Increasingly, homeowners want the freedom to connect devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and even laptops directly to their home’s high-speed network. With a thoughtfully planned structured wiring network, this is as simple as plugging an Ethernet cable into a purpose-built RJ45 wall plate.

Adding Plastic Media Panels  

One of the simplest ways integrators and builders can add lasting value to homes is by installing a plastic media panel inside the home. This panel can serve as the hub for a structured wiring network and conveniently house key network devices, such as a modem, gigabit switches, and network interface modules.

Media panels can also be installed in one or two additional places in larger homes, serving as satellite hubs that can house devices like Wi-Fi extenders or whole home mesh nodes.

When selecting a media panel, be sure to choose one engineered from Wi-Fi transparent plastic to ensure wireless speeds aren’t limited.

Installing Smart Home Control Panels

Retrofits in older homes often see outside fiber access points connecting to modems installed in awkward places, such as in the garage. With structured wiring and a specialized brownfield distribution panel such as the SOHO Pro PR2300, integrators can connect to convenient locations throughout the home.

In new builds with structured wiring in place and dedicated media panels installed, a home is well on its way to being future-proofed against growing network demands. However, one final piece can truly make a home “smarter” in the eyes of homeowners or prospective homebuyers: Adding a smart home control panel.

With a smart home control panel—a digital display mounted on the wall, which can be accessed by smartphones—the homeowner can oversee and control every smart device from one place. They can lock or unlock their smart door lock, arm or disarm their smart security system, open or close their smart blinds, dim or brighten their smart lighting, and so on.

A smart home control panel becomes the face of the smart home and can help reinforce the benefits of structured wiring and media panels to homeowners.

Partnering With Builders on New Home Construction

Demand for structured wiring, plastic media panels, and smart home control panels in retrofits will continue to increase as home network demands rise further.

However, ISP integrators and specialists should be looking to partner with new home builders, to include smart home network infrastructure in new homes. For builders, this can add lasting value to their offering and help differentiate their projects or homes from competitors. For integrators, this can create new avenues of opportunity and comparatively easier installations.