The Importance of Maintaining an Up-to-Date MDU Database

Multi Dwelling Units (MDUs) represent valuable pockets of concentrated opportunity for ISPs. The most successful ISPs recognize this, and have accurate and up-to-date data on the locations, sizes, and characteristics of both existing and under construction buildings so that they can be targeted with tailored sales and marketing tactics.

The Importance of Maintaining an Up-to-Date MDU Database

By Brad Hoffman

Despite this importance, there are several reasons why an ISP might have an incomplete picture of the MDU opportunity within or near their network footprint:

  • Inability to consistently identify newly permitted/constructed buildings.
  • Focusing too narrowly on only the largest buildings (e.g. 100+ units).
  • Inconsistent identification and consideration of housing complexes with multiple buildings.
  • Inconsistent MDU data collection/maintenance practices between regions, e.g. due to differing management approaches and M&A.
  • Failure to properly consider near-network opportunities that have a favorable ROI profile.

These gaps can represent a sizeable opportunity cost, because in many cases a competitor is winning more than their fair share of units and may negotiate bulk contracts with building management.

To address this, ISPs need to first validate/update their MDU tracking data by assessing the quality gaps in their existing data and identifying sources for missing information that collectively can provide a comprehensive view of the MDU opportunity. This includes building a complete data set of MDUs with unit counts, residential segments (e.g., rental apartments, condos, student housing, senior living), services/speeds provided by existing ISPs, and revenue/payback assumptions. After undergoing this exercise, ISPs can implement best practice processes to maintain dataset quality going forward.

Geo-spatial analysis can then be overlaid to cluster opportunities by geography, management company, and ownership. If an ISP is considering network expansion to reach near-network MDUs, geospatial analysis can also be used to evaluate the holistic opportunity and estimated ROI that also includes building to nearby businesses, community anchor institutions, and towers.

Cartesian helps ISPs ensure they have a complete up-to-date list of MDUs in and near network:

ISPs that consistently perform this exercise will benefit from an up-to-date property database and increased awareness of residential opportunities. This knowledge can be used to drive data-driven sales and marketing strategies that prioritize the right opportunities, win new business, and maximize ROI.<>

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