Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2017

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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16 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 PROPERTY OF THE MONTH Working@Home: 407 Orange St., Oakland, California As Silicon Valley culture spills over into the East Bay, broadband is becoming a hot- button issue in Oakland, California. Condo owners at 407 Orange made their building competitive in this tech-savvy environment with the help of AT&T Fiber. Thanks to Shauna Serdahl of Associa, Justin Hess of AT&T and Stan Cardoza of the 407 Orange Street Homeowners Association for gathering the information for this profile. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities O akland, once San Francisco's quiet, low-key neighbor, has suddenly become the new "hot spot." Home buyers fleeing San Francisco's inflated real estate market are discovering charming, walkable neighborhoods across the bay and rapidly bidding up prices there. In this tech-savvy region, one thing they all need is reliable broadband. At 407 Orange St., a condominium building in Oakland's Adams Point neighborhod, residents complained about poor broadband for years. "We were at the end of AT&T's DSL line," says Stan Cardoza, now the board president. "If it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon and you wanted to download something, buffering would happen." Cardoza and many of his neighbors worked from home several days a week, and as their broadband needs increased, they became increasingly dissatisfied with their service. Several years ago, Cardoza, then a board member, volunteered to find out what it would take to improve service to the building. "I knew I wanted a fiber optic system because it was the newest thing coming," he says. He quickly learned that the building, constructed in 1970, could not easily be rewired. Contractors' bids for installing a fiber network ranged from $60,000 to $80,000 – a steep price for a building of only 38 units. A special assessment would be required to pay for the network, and to make matters worse, there was no fiber service provider in the area. Putting fiber into the building wouldn't help if the only service to the building was DSL. As San Franciscans began pouring into the neighborhood, the problem became increasingly urgent. However, a solution was on the way. AT&T, which began its fiber services rollout in 2013 in Texas, accelerated the rollout in 2015 after the acquisition of DIRECTV, adding dozens of new metro areas to its list. In 2016, Associa, the homeowners association's manager, met with AT&T and discovered At 407 Orange St., residents who work from home appreciate symmetrical gigabit service delivered over fiber.

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