• Posted on Aug 7, 2022

Consumers require network connectivity for work, school, streaming, and gameplay. Whatever the reason, access to the network in the home is a must for nearly everyone, and that demand doesn’t change when that home happens to be an apartment or condominium.

Contact eNetwork Supply, Skokie, IL, if you are an owner/manager of a multiunit facility with questions regarding expanding MDU coverage and optimizing network services.

MDU Values and Network Issues

The demand for high-speed internet doesn’t change for consumers just because they live in a multi-dwelling unit (MDU). Consumers want options and reliability for wireless and high-speed broadband services.

Increased Value and Customer Satisfaction

Consumers in MDUs still bring office and school work home with them. They also have family members who bank daily hours on the network for streaming and gaming, so reliable internet is a must.

A lack of access to reliable internet at fast speeds can turn away potential renters, whereas reliable network services can increase the value of MDUs. In recent surveys, 87% of property managers stated that advanced technology, including network services, was key to maintaining satisfaction. Research shows an 8% increase in rental property values and a 2% increase in condominium property values for properties where reliable network services were available.

Problems with Upgrading

Expanding MDU coverage of network services is much more complex than upgrading services to single-family homes.


Adequate network service in an MDU isn’t as simple as placing the home router in the living room and expecting everyone in the home to get adequate connectivity. In an MDU, you have to put the network hub in a place that will provide the best access to each unit, and multiple access points may be needed to ensure adequate network coverage. This can be costly.

Another logistical issue is achieving an adequate compatible connection between the service provider and the existing phone or cable wiring.


Upgrading network capabilities for an entire MDU is expensive, particularly if you do not have the proper wiring in place. The average cost to expand MDU coverage can be hundreds of dollars per unit, not considering repair issues and adding features such as signal boosters.

Options for Expanding MDU Coverage

There are multiple options for expanding MDU coverage. They vary in cost, management capabilities for setup, and service provider involvement.

Retrofitting for Fiber Cabling

Modern network systems and service providers use fiber cabling to deliver high-speed connectivity. Properties more than a few years old aren’t fitted with fiber cables. While retrofitting might be the best option to ensure reliable services to each unit, it is fraught with problems.

As discussed, most apparent problem is cost. Retrofitting old cabling with fiber is extremely expensive, roughly $600 per unit, depending on the property size and the number of units.

Another issue is time. Retrofitting an entire apartment or condominium complex takes a lot of time, not to mention inconvenient service interruptions during the upgrade. Current renters will likely experience lengthy construction inconveniences, while prospective tenants will decide against renting, costing the property money.

Leveraging Existing Wiring and Cabling

If retrofitting isn’t ideal, service providers can connect to existing phone lines and coax cable connections using a gigabyte access multiplexer (GAM). The GAM connection aids the conversion of the incoming signal from the provider to the existing lines.

GAM connections provide a variety of benefits, including:

  • Cost-effective with no fiber installation
  • Customizable for increase or decrease of bandwidth per unit
  • Easy modification to add GAM connections and access points
  • Easy installation by residents and managers
  • Multiple configurations to ensure maximum coverage
  • Simple setup using pre-existing lines
  • Stable long-term service, eliminating service calls

Considerations for Optimization

Access Points

When connecting to a service provider via a GAM or other conversion system, enough access points must be available within the MDU to allow each unit to achieve connectivity independently. The best way to accomplish equal connectivity is to have the service provider place a base unit discretely in each dwelling.

For optimization and superior wi-fi service, the manager or provider should consider the following steps:

  • Identify access points
  • Diagnose signal strength at those points
  • Enhance signal quality at points where signal strength is not sufficient

Service providers aim to place the base unit in an ideal location to optimize signal strength throughout the dwelling, but this isn’t always possible. When installing the base unit in a dwelling location that is not ideal, options such as wire-free mesh can be placed throughout the dwelling to boost the signal.

Separate User Channels

Placing enough access points and individualizing user channels boosts the network signal in each unit. Channels that must be shared between users weaken with increased device access and hinder reliability. Individualized channels also allow users to increase or decrease the network service they need, saving themselves and the MDU money.

Building Materials

Building materials impact signal strength. MDUs such as hotels are often built primarily of concrete, hindering signal range. MDUs such as apartments are made primarily of wood and siding, providing easier transmission and increased signal strength.

It is necessary to consider building materials when determining the best way to expand MDU coverage or the number of access points needed.

Service Provider Participation

There are several advantages to working with service providers to maintain network coverage. In addition to eliminating the middleman when service issues arise minimizing MDU resources, service provider products monitor user analytics.

Analyzing user data means the service provider knows how much service is needed in each unit and can modify bandwidth as needed, saving MDUs money. It also allows the provider to determine if the access points are optimized or need adapting in specific units.

eNetwork Supply for Expanding MDU Coverage

eNetwork Supply is an industry leader in asset management, testing, repair, and recovery services. We work to optimize MDU coverage for your property because we understand that anything less than optimal costs your tenants and the property money. After expanding MDU coverage, we provide monitoring and continued support to maintain your system at peak performance.

Contact eNetwork Supply, Skokie, IL, at 312-283-5983 to expand your MDU coverage today