Broadband Communities

OCT 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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MDU SERVICE PROVIDER STRATEGIES 5 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 A New Lease on the Good Life Evolving from apartment nicety to marketing necessity, broadband is king in Chattanooga's fast-growing MDU market. By Chuck Crowder / EPB Fiber Optics O nce upon a time, all an apartment or a condo complex needed was a swimming pool and fitness center to successfully attract those who preferred the convenience of worry-free renting over homeownership. But as multiple-dwelling-unit properties (MDUs) enjoy a massive resurgence as cost-effective living options for those who enjoy the convenience of walkable, revitalized downtowns, competition to lure tenants is more heated than ever. Hardwood floors, chef-inspired kitchens, washer and dryer hookups, 9-foot ceilings and large closets are a good start. But more and more tech-savvy MDUs are turning to high-speed broadband agreements with local fiber optic providers to snag tenants who require super-fast internet for everything from working at home to streaming entertainment at the end of a long day. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, known around the world as "Gig City" for becoming the first city in the nation to offer 1,000 Mbps internet, EPB Fiber Optics has become the go-to provider for local property owners pushing for higher occupancy rates through the fastest broadband available anywhere. It's working. "Prospective tenants don't just ask whether we offer EPB Fiber Optics; it's now become somewhat of a deal breaker if we don't," says Jennifer Lusk, manager of Marina Pointe Apartments. "So much so that the relationship we have with EPB Fiber Optics has become just as important as any utility." In fact, Chattanooga-area property owners report that in more and more cases, lease prospects decline to sign or renew leases if EPB Fiber Optics isn't an option for internet, television and home phone service. One multifamily corporate housing company opted to install EPB broadband services exclusively in all its temporary stay units located within the EPB Fiber Optics service area. e potential of the fast-growing MDU market represents a unique opportunity that providers just can't ignore. In Chattanooga, new construction of apartments, condos and townhomes is exploding because of the influx of new residents moving to the Chattanooga area. Features such as gigabit-speed internet and a newly revitalized, award-winning downtown continue to draw young entrepreneurs and tech startups from much larger cities to this progressive, affordable, mid-sized city that Outside Magazine named one of the "best places ever." HELPING OWNERS MARKET THEIR PROPERTIES As a service-focused hometown company, EPB wasted no time taking advantage of this new, exciting growth opportunity. Proactively adding fiber optic capabilities to new construction as well as to more existing facilities, EPB has ensured the availability of fiber optic internet, television and phone services in more than 24,000 MDU residences. e investment so far has paid off. About 40 percent of EPB's new fiber optic customers last year were MDU residents – making these facilities an important part of providing greater access to fiber optic services, whether customers rent or own. And with increasing customer demand for EPB Fiber Optics services, providing access has proven to be a great

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