Are you an MDU (multi-dwelling unit) owner in a college or university city or town? Are you trying to increase rental and occupancy rates? Then, you probably know the one must-have item for student tenants is ultrafast broadband access. If you are like many building owners, delivering this ultrafast speed has appeared too cost prohibitive or disruptive. Fortunately, a new technology, called Gfast, is coming to the rescue.
Gfast is a new broadband technology from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – a part of the United Nations. It’s the first new gigabit broadband technology to run over existing copper wires in apartment buildings.
Until recently, apartment owners had to rely on delivery of fiber to the home in order to offer tenants ultrafast broadband speeds exceeding 500 Mbps. Fiber installation often gets rejected as an option because it’s messy and disruptive. Now Gfast technology can deliver broadband access at up to one gigabit over traditional copper wires or coax wires, which are already in most apartment buildings. These speeds are nearly 100x higher than what most consumers have access to today and will keep even the most demanding students happy and renting.
Gfast is quickly becoming a popular technology.
In countries like England, Gfast is already available to over one million consumers. In the U.S.,
AT&T launched Gfast to 22 markets and will expand that number in 2018. In February 2018, AT&T showcased delivery of Gfast broadband to Boston apartment dwellers with speeds up to 500Mbps and a path to even higher speeds. Other big and small internet service providers (ISPs) are also offering Gfast solutions.
Gfast can be installed in existing wiring closets using existing copper wires – so no drilling is needed. First, your service provider brings fiber to your wiring closet (or the telco interface on the edge of the building). Then, they connect to the existing copper lines inside the wiring closet. Once that’s done, they give the user a modem that runs inside the tenant’s residence. That’s it. No drilling. No noise. No disruptions. Typically, all apartments can be connected in hours, not weeks or months. The other good news is that Gfast is much cheaper to deploy than fiber. This results in lower prices for consumers, too.
This is all great news for apartment owners who want to make low-budget, but high-impact improvements to student-rented properties to create higher demand and rent. Young adults consume data at a very high rate and expect fast internet speeds across all their devices. In a four-person apartment, there could be as many as 10-12 connected devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming systems – with many in use at the same time. Without the ability to offer ultrafast broadband speeds, apartment owners are at a disadvantage and may not get the higher rents they desire.
Installing Gfast through AT&T and other telcos such as CenturyLink and Windstream is simple and makes good use of existing telecom infrastructure in buildings, while bringing tenants the blazing fast speeds they really want.