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 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS | 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 San Francisco's MDU Ordinance Is a Win-Win-Win Under a new city ordinance, renters in San Francisco can request internet services from providers of their choice. The legislation appears to be a win for ISPs, property owners and consumers. By Dane Jasper / Sonic M ultiple-dwelling-unit properties (MDUs) have long been an obstacle for internet service providers, largely because of the lack of regulation to guide the process. No clearly defined federal law regulates an ISP's access to MDUs. As a result, there is no protection for tenants or property owners and no guiding principles for ISPs. is makes every encounter unpredictable. Today, in most cities, a property owner has the ability to deny a tenant's request for a specific internet service provider, hindering the tenant's ability to choose. For property owners, there is no regulation in place to protect their properties and investments. For ISPs (including my independent ISP, Sonic), the lack of access to MDU residents forces them to lose a considerable share of the potential market. at's why I was pleased when, in December 2016, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to pass an MDU ordinance (Ordinance 250- 16). Enacted with the goal of increasing ISP competition in San Francisco, the ordinance establishes requirements for ISPs to obtain access to MDUs. In terms of customer impact, this ordinance gives MDU tenants the freedom to choose ISPs rather than limiting them to the ISPs that property owners choose. Finally, the ordinance provides clear guidelines and processes for ISPs, strengthening relationships between ISPs and owners. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, CREATING CHOICE Since passage of the ordinance, Sonic has benefited in terms of its business and its relationships with property owners. More important is the positive impact this ordinance has had on the San Francisco ISP market, providing competitive ISPs the opportunity to increase market share and better compete with industry conglomerates. Conversations with property owners. Before the ordinance was passed, property owners were able to deny ISPs, such as Sonic, access to a building without any explanation – often simply because they were unfamiliar with a company. With the ordinance, a property owner is now required to allow a potential competitor an on-site visit, giving it the opportunity to walk through the installation process in person and educate the owners about the company and its values. Site visits have now become the primary way of changing property owners' perceptions (or lack thereof ) of Sonic because we can show them, in person, the benefits of gigabit fiber, address their concerns and give them peace of mind. Property owners that were once reluctant to admit Sonic into their buildings have become our biggest advocates. Happy tenants, happy owners. is ordinance benefits MDU tenants and property

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