Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2015

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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14 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2015 A Strategic Fiber Upgrade: St. Laurent Apartments, Grand Prairie, Texas In this issue, BroadBand Communities showcases the St. Laurent Apartments, an upscale apartment complex in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. A major overhaul to the communications infrastructure in this apartment complex allowed the owner to make the community more attractive to tenants. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities Tanks to Bert Bertelson, vice president of asset management for Continental Realty Advisors, known as CRA, and T.J. Stewart, principal of MDU Network Technologies LLC (MDU Netech), who provided the information for this profle. S ince the 1980s, CR A-sponsored investment funds have acquired more than $2 billion in multifamily real estate. Te frm typically targets properties that can beneft from upgrading, and Bert Bertelson, VP of asset management, says, "My job is to take the investment and raise the value of that real estate." Bertelson identifes strategic upgrades whose costs can be recouped quickly through rent increases. Recently, Bertelson has paid particular attention to properties where network upgrades would signifcantly increase value. He found one in the St. Laurent Apartments, a luxury apartment complex in Grand Prairie, Texas, that had less-than-luxurious cable service. In fact, residents leaving the community cited the cable and Internet services as their second most common source of dissatisfaction. Te property had a 10-year contract with the cable provider, but Bertelson was able to terminate the contract early because the provider was unable to deliver the top advertised speed. Because the St. Laurent's home-run wiring and in-home wiring were sound, CR A didn't have to invest capital in the upgrade (though, as Bertelson points out, given the growth in demand, owners may eventually have to invest in running fber to each unit). Instead, it contracted with MDU Netech to construct a fber ring throughout the property and connect it to the building wiring. Tis propertywide fber plant is a frst step to achieving full FTTH if and when CR A decides to run fber to each unit. PROPERTY OF THE MONTH

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