How to Expand MDU Coverage for Gigabit Internet
(A Recent FCC Ruling is Aiming to Improve Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments)
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently adopted rules that give tenants in apartments and office buildings more transparency, competition, and choice for broadband services. The FCC’s new rules are aimed at providing all Americans with access to broadband service, no matter where they live or work.
For apartments, condominiums, townhomes and similar environments, gigabit internet access is a valuable asset. Today’s tech-savvy populations desire quality internet experiences as much as they do new appliances and luxurious health facilities. In one survey, 87 percent of property managers stated that tech plays an important role in keeping residents satisfied. Property values seem to line up with this idea as well — one study found that high-speed broadband and gigabit services add 2 percent to condominium values and 8 percent to the rental value of apartments.
While gigabit internet makes residences more desirable for buyers and tenants, achieving it can be a logistical issue. Multi-tenant residential spaces need a simple and cost-effective way to extend gigabit coverage to attract and keep tenants by meeting their internet demands. Implementing a gigabit access multiplexer, or GAM, is the ultimate solution.
The Challenge of Gigabit Internet for MDUs
Gigabit internet is increasingly necessary in the modern world. It is the solution for how to meet the internet demands of the current generations, offering data rates of one billion bits per second. With streaming, gaming and working-from-home functions becoming more common in the modern world, the ability to offer gigabit internet is a necessity that residential areas must offer. However, it poses a unique challenge for a multi-dwelling unit, or MDU for short.
What is an MDU? An MDU is a type of real estate development or complex that includes multiple individual living spaces. Common examples of this include apartment buildings, condominium complexes and townhouse communities.
The challenge of bringing Gigabit internet to an MDU is that older units may not easily support the required infrastructure. Most recently built units are built with fiber cabling that can facilitate gigabit internet for each apartment or condominium. However, any buildings constructed more than a few years ago likely do not have the fiber infrastructure needed to support gigabit internet delivery for individual units.
So, what is a multi-dwelling unit solution for gigabit internet in these older units? One potential answer is to retrofit older buildings with fiber. The issue with this solution is the cost. While it may be cost-effective for single-family homes to be retrofitted with fiber, MDUs feature multiple doors and rooms in a single building. Reaching all units inside an MDU with a fiber feed is complex and may require extensive construction, which is both costly and disruptive for residents. At one estimate, the cost of retrofitting an MDU with fiber may cost up to $600 per tenant, not to mention the costs associated with lost tenants, construction errors and other potential issues.
The real question for MDU owners is how to build a gigabit network in the most cost-effective manner. The answer is to leverage telephone wiring or coaxial cabling that is already installed in the building.
MDU Solutions for Gigabit Internet
The use of existing telephone wiring or coaxial cabling for improved internet service is not a new concept. Multiple proposed and existing technologies are based on this idea as a retrofitting solution for older buildings. Below is one of the high-performance networking technologies that uses this idea as the underlying premise.
Gigabit home networking (G.hn), also known as G.hn Wave-2, is a broadband protocol that offers a comprehensive solution to the problem of how to build a gigabit network in an MDU. G.hn requires a fiber feed into each building. Then it hooks up to the existing wiring in the building’s infrastructure using a GAM.
G.hn GAM solutions typically have 12 and 24 ports, but these ports are significantly more flexible than those on a DPU. Each port in a GAM can operate as a single-input, single-output (SISO) or multiple-input, multiple output (MIMO) port for copper wiring. Also, GAMs support coax cabling with splitters, meaning that each coaxial port can serve up to 16 subscribers with gigabit service. On top of it all, each building can contain multiple GAMs working side-by-side, making for a more scalable solution.
The Benefits of G.hn Wave-2 GAM for MDUs
G.hn Wave-2 provides a comprehensive alternative to other gigabit solutions for MDU buildings. It presents gigabit capabilities to condominium owners and tenants using existing infrastructure, along with the following benefits for owners, managers, and tenants:
- Cost-effective: Fiber access to the building is the only requirement to enable G.hn gigabit services, so construction needs are minimal. GAMs can also serve more residences per unit, reducing the costs of gigabit service per residence. Additionally, this solution provides long-term benefits by setting up the building for Gigabit services in the future instead of requiring updated modems every few years.
- Stable service: G.hn GAM solutions provide stable service to users, meaning building managers do not need to worry about support calls.
- Scalability: The ability of G.hn GAM solutions to work side-by-side allows building managers to add as many GAMs as needed to provide service to residents.
- Self-installation capabilities: Internet-savvy residents expect capabilities like self-installation and zero-touch provisioning in their service providers and have little tolerance for service level modifications. GAMs with captive portal options allow for all these capabilities so that tenants are more satisfied with their service.
- Customizability: GAM hardware uses subscriber-based bandwidth profiles, allowing users to change their bandwidth levels as needed.
In short, G.hn redefines the user experience for gigabit internet, presenting cost benefits for property managers and helping retain residents with excellent service.
How Positron GAM Makes Providing Gigabit Internet Easier
If you’re looking for G.hn GAM for your MDU coverage, Positron’s G.hn GAM solutions present the most cost-effective and flexible package. Using existing in-building wiring, Positron GAM systems like the Positron G1000 make it easier to provide gigabit internet to residents in a variety of MDUs. Below are just a few of the benefits and capabilities of Positron GAM solutions:
- Simple setups: All you need to support Positron’s G.hn GAM is gigabit access to the building through a fiber or fixed wireless access system. The GAM is a fiber-to-the-distribution-point solution that can be installed in a wiring closet. The GAM system can also be deployed outdoors to serve smaller MDUs, row houses, garden homes and townhouses. Each GAM solution comes with multiple 10-gigabit interfaces to support any fiber or PON standards and can be connected to additional GAM devices to support any-size MDU.
- Uses existing RGs: With the Positron GAM, there is no need to replace your current customer-provided equipment (CPE). A low-cost managed G.hn bridge allows you to use your current residential gateway and management systems.
- Extensive management capabilities: Positron GAM software simplifies deployment, activation and support with management capabilities that cover all aspects of operation. The Positron GAM software extends its management capabilities to G.hn endpoint devices, simplifying or eliminating functions of the residential gateway. It also provides real-time information to the operator about service grades for easy monitoring.
- Symmetrical bandwidth: The Positron G.hn GAM offers non-blocking ethernet ASIC, which enables symmetrical gigabit bandwidth services to subscribers over existing wiring. The system even optimizes bandwidth for each subscriber based on real-time traffic demand using cross-GAM hardware-assisted synchronization.
- Bandwidth profiles: The Positron GAM hardware enforces per-subscriber bandwidth profiles, guaranteeing fair and balanced use and enabling services such as IPTV, video streaming and online gaming.
- Multiple configurations: The Positron GAM is available in 24- and 12-port configurations. Each configuration supports either coaxial cable or twisted pair and provides support for SISO and MIMO.
With the Positron GAM, MDUs can benefit from high-speed gigabit internet services that are seamless, stable, and easily managed.
Trust Worldwide Supply for Positron Equipment and MDU Solutions
If you are looking to purchase Positron GAM equipment as an MDU solution for gigabit access, Worldwide Supply can help.
Positron offers high-quality GAM equipment to meet all your needs for delivering on IoT demand in MDU residences. As a Positron supplier, Worldwide solutions can provide these solutions and more. Hardware from Positron’s telecom suppliers deliver benefits such as:
- Infrastructure support options: Positron offers a range of equipment to support a variety of communication platforms. Their high-voltage isolation solutions include options for fiber optic and wireline systems. Hardware from Positron Access Solutions can complement newer or older networking infrastructure, depending on product specs.
- Legacy support: Providers who own legacy Positron equipment can easily find manuals and other documentation online from the company. Positron Power and Access Solutions also offer learning resources such as application and training documents.
- Network scaling capabilities: Many Positron Access Solution products enhance existing copper lines to help customers save on expenses. This hardware can double end-user service areas and improve system stability.
At Worldwide Supply, our Positron inventory includes products from both of Positron’s infrastructure subsidiaries — Positron Access Solutions and Positron Power. Our expertly experienced technical team can help you get the most out of Positron hardware investments and provide support as you expand.