Apartment Buildings - Why no LightSpeed?

There are many challenges related to bringing LightSpeed's fiber optic network and 1 Gig Internet service to apartment buildings.

 

Permission

The first and most significant challenge with apartment buildings is getting approval from the landlord/owner. The first step is to seek an agreement with the property owner that permits LightSpeed to connect its fiber optic network to your apartment building, and run the necessary in-building wiring to bring service into your rental unit.

The reason access agreements are such a major challenge is because of the nature of the agreements popularized by AT&T and Comcast.

Many building owners have entered into quasi-exclusive arrangements with Comcast or AT&T where they are paid kick backs in exchange for granting quasi-exclusive rights to AT&T or Comcast to serve the building. As a practical matter, if this type of arrangement exists at your building, we are blocked from installing to your building.

These agreements may not technically be written as exclusive, but the nature of an owner getting paid by the provider creates an anti-competitive incentive. From a practical stand point, the owner does not allow our access.

LightSpeed does not pay kick backs to property owners in exchange for forcing you to buy our service. We believe this anti-consumer practice should be stopped.

 

Quality of Existing Inside Cabling

Often times the existing in-building wiring in older apartment buildings will not support 1 Gig service. We need at least CAT5 cabling to support Gig Ethernet. If cabling does not already exist, with the owner's permission we can install new cabling, but this could be cost prohibitive and complicate the deployment.  

If the cost to deploy new in-building wiring is to be paid for by LightSpeed, we will do with assurances from the building owner the wiring will be reserved for our use. If the building owner pays for the cabling upgrade, we will install the cabling at a very low cost assuming the cabling is reserved for competitive use only (no exclusive arrangements.)

If CAT5 (Gig Ethernet comparable) cabling exists, we need permission to use or lease these lines and the terms of these agreements need to be worked out with the building owner. 

 

Type of Construction

Buried construction costs a lot more than aerial (on poles) construction. The more buried network we need to install to get to your building, the higher the number of units in your building we will need to subscribe to justify installing service to your apartment. The business justification of building to apartment buildings can be a challenge, but one we can usually overcome quickly with marketing and outreach to your neighbors.

 

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6 Comments

  • 1
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    Scott Bixby
    Edited by Scott Bixby
  • 0
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    Jason Schreiber

    What city are you in?

  • 0
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    Connor Layman

    Hey Jason,

    Love your service. We might be looking to move in the next couple months. Are there any apartments you've worked with in Lansing that you already have some customers living in or a relationship with the owner/manager? Having your service would be a huge factor into where we move if it could be made a available!

    Thanks!
    -Connor

  • 0
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    shortdwarf.com

    jason,

    what challenges do you have installing your service in Capitol Commons, a First Housing Corporation property in Lansing, MI?

    what quasi-exclusive arrangements with Comcast or AT&T exist on the property?

    looking forward to using your service.

    thank you.

    daniel black
    shortdwarf.com@gmail.com
    517-507-5552
    shortdwarf.com

  • 0
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    Jessica Applin

    Hi, Jason.  I am in an apartment, and I have signed up as an early adopter.  If my building wasn't permitting anyone else to "provide" internet access, would I have found that out before I signed up, or is this something that becomes known as the construction process goes on? I haven't heard anything, so I was just wondering. 

  • 0
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    Jason Schreiber

    Jessica, We will attempt an install at your apartment. I do not believe we've had any difficult getting into your building; if we do, we will know soon! :) 

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