November 30, 2017 by Gregory Bathrick

Broadband in MDUs, Challenge or Opportunity?


There are over 30 million MDU apartments in the United States. 55 percent of their residents were born after 1984 and represent a generation that has grown up on the Internet. They expect, even demand, the same subscriber experience as those that live in a single-family residence.

As a service provider, your charter is to deliver that same experience to all your subscribers regardless of where they live. So when you look at those neighborhoods of garden-style apartments or large MDUs, do you see a challenge or an opportunity? 

While assessing these buildings, network planners must take a close look at several key factors, including the buildings construction and size, to determine the best network deployment strategy. Recent data from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) shows that 55 percent of apartments are in larger buildings having over 50 units; while the remainder are split between small and medium-sized buildings. In addition, construction of these buildings, as well as age, often means that fiber and even CAT5 cabling are not available and often not cost effective to add. This often leads service providers to skip deployment in the buildings completely. 

But assuming you see the opportunity, then you’re well aware that technologies like Gfast enable delivery of gigabit services over the existing copper wiring. So that covers the construction side of the challenge, but what about building size. As I mentioned before more than half of buildings have more than 50 living units, so its critical to have solutions to cost effectively deliver services in both smaller and larger buildings. The Calix AXOS Gfast portfolio provides multiple sized options enabling a configuration for each building size and, by cascading multiple units, even the very large buildings are covered. 

You’ve now turned those challenging buildings into a significant new revenue growth opportunity. Because Calix Gfast solutions are built on the AXOS platform, just like the rest of the Calix AXOS E-Series portfolio, you are providing your MDU based subscribers the same service capabilities as those in the single family home and also utilizing consistent operational procedures to deliver services to your entire subscriber base, whether they are served by copper or fiber.