Building for Gigabit: Construction Best Practices

It’s a fact: broadband has become an essential utility and ensuring facilities are in place to accommodate multiple competing providers is essential to ensuring tenants access to high quality services.

A building that limits tenants to phone and cable access will not offer the high speed, innovative telecommunications options that people want for today and the future. That affects your bottom line. And building in an entrance for competitive telecommunications is easy, if you plan. 

Here’s how. 

Santa Cruz Fiber recommends that all new construction adhere to the following best practices to make new properties next generation broadband-ready: 

Multi-Tenant Units

As a best practice, new multi-unit properties should have the following assets built at time of construction to minimize later building entrance costs and disruption:

  • 36"x48" common vault at least 12"deep (24" preferred)
  • Multiple - minimum two (2), four (4) preferred - 4" conduit from above vault into building MPOE (Minimum Point Of Entry) or telco/electrical room
  • Backer board installed for telco/internet/communications hardware install. (4'x8' preferred)

Where a property/development/building has multiple telco rooms on multiple floors or spread throughout a complex a minimum of one (1) 4" conduit (two preferred) should be placed to provide a path interconnecting all MPOE/Telco rooms.

To facilitate wireless broadband connectivity, buildings should install, during construction, a conduit from the main telco room to the rooftop, or to an intermediate telco location that also has a conduit pathway back to the main telco entrance room. This conduit should be 2” EMT conduit with a weatherhead installed to prevent weather/pest intrusion.

It is also strongly recommended that every suite/apartment/office space have at least two (2) ethernet cables run to it from the appropriate MPOE and that these cable runs be less than 300ft. This provides for one cable to be broken out for telecom use as four individual pairs and for the second to be used for a direct ethernet connection to the suite. This allows for up to gigabit internet speeds to be delivered to each such drop while still allowing access to traditional landline phone services. 

Single Tenant Units

As a best practice new single unit properties should have the following assets built at time of construction to minimize later building entrance costs and disruption:

  • 12x18" handhole/vault at least 12" deep
  • Conduit from vault underground and stubbed up 24" above surface at location adjacent to electrical or telco drops or inside of defined media closet area within the building. Conduit should be sealed at stub end to prevent obstruction by debris or wildlife.
  • Central media panel or wiring closet/room appropriate to size of unit
  • Consider installing conduit or ethernet runs to ceiling locations for potential future wifi deployments
  • Installation of power outlets at these locations increases utility, but may not always be necessary due to increasing prevalence of Power Over Ethernet (PoE) devices 

If you have any questions about best practices, please contact Cruzio! We are happy to offer assessments and advice free of charge. 

Already Have A Building Ready For Fiber?

Great! Get in touch with one of our friendly staff and we'd be happy to walk you through getting your building connected to Santa Cruz Fiber! If you'd like to get a headstart, you can do so by filling out an online version of our Access Agreement.


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