Fiber-optic broadband access increases MDU value: study

A Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas commissioned study says that the availability of fiber-optic broadband access to individual apartments will increase rental and property values in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) by 8% and 2.8%, respectively.

A Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas commissioned study says that the availability of fiber-optic broadband access to individual apartments will increase rental and property values in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) by 8% and 2.8%, respectively.

The study, conducted by RVA LLC, echoes a study that found similar economic benefits for single-family units (SFUs) with FTTH broadband (see "FTTH adds 3.1% to home values says study"). RVA combined a survey of residents and base financial data from the National Apartment Association, which indicated that the availability of fiber broadband can add 11% to an MDU owner's or operator's net income per average apartment unit.

The survey solicited input from MDU residents in the U.S. and Canada. RVA asked respondents to estimate the discount they would give on an otherwise equal $300,000 condominium purchase or the $1,000 monthly rent on an apartment if those living units did not have access to fiber. The results showed owners would require an average discount of $8,628 (2.8%) and renters would require an $80 monthly discount (8%).

The earlier SFU study showed that homeowners would want an approximate 3.2% discount.

RVA and the Council point out that almost 30% of US residents live in multifamily housing of some type. Speaking at the FTTH Connect conference this morning in Nashville, TN, RVA's Michael Render said the survey shows that the average MDU resident spends more time online than a typical resident of an SFU. Render suggested that MDU residents are more likely to be single and younger than the average SFU resident.

Render reported that 60% of MDU survey respondents said that they'd like a choice of broadband service providers as well.

"Today's findings add to the growing body of evidence that fiber is a win for communities, for consumers and for property owners," said FTTH Council President and CEO Heather Burnett Gold, "This study is another tool network providers can use in their discussions with MDU owners and operators as they seek to deploy fiber, meaning faster and more numerous deployments throughout North America."

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