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OEC Fiber Blog


Breaking the Lease: Obstacles to Serving Apartments

Delivering OEC Fiber services to apartment buildings is no small feat. The intricacies of getting service into Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs) pose many challenges. From building construction to preexisting service agreements, there are several issues we need to address before starting service. 

Construction Conundrum

One of the primary hurdles lies in the layouts of these MDUs. Unlike single-family homes, apartments often have multi-level designs and shared utility spaces. These layouts, while minimizing disruptions for residents, pose a considerable challenge. Determining how to best access individual units and route fiber cables within the building is critical in the installation process. Additionally, the presence of utility banks in many apartment buildings further complicates extending fiber to individual units.

Signal Interference and Technological Solutions

Another significant obstacle involves the potential for signal interference resulting from installing multiple routers in a confined space. Maintaining a high-quality service experience for OEC Fiber subscribers is a top priority. As a result, the exploration of emerging technologies, such as “walled gardens,” is underway to mitigate this potential issue and ensure a seamless user experience.

Permission and Collaboration Challenges

Bringing OEC Fiber services to apartment buildings requires permission and collaboration from multiple stakeholders. While obtaining approval from a homeowner for a single-family dwelling is relatively straightforward, apartment installations involve securing consent from building owners, property managers and tenants. This intricate web of approvals can be time-consuming and complex, particularly in larger buildings with multiple owners or management companies. The presence of existing contracts between apartments and other service providers further complicates matters, potentially locking in residents for extended periods without additional service options.

Tenant Disruptions and Resident Resistance

Installing OEC Fiber services within an apartment building inevitably involves drilling, wiring and potential disruptions to tenant spaces. These disruptions, while essential for the installation, can inconvenience residents. Noise complaints and reluctance to grant access to their units are common reactions. As such, these issues can act as significant deterrents to implementing new services within MDUs.

Complexity and Innovative Solutions

Conquering the unique challenges of serving MDUs demands a strategic approach involving meticulous planning, effective collaboration and innovative problem-solving. While the challenges don’t render the task impossible, they make the process more intricate and time-consuming than other installation scenarios.

The road to providing OEC Fiber services to apartment buildings is marked by various hurdles arising from the complex layouts, potential signal interference, permission and collaboration requirements and the disruptions experienced by tenants during installation. These challenges require careful planning and innovative solutions. Serving MDUs is not easy, but OEC Fiber is working to find a solution.

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