Tech Talk Tuesday: Summer webinars offer tips on building to meet demand for broadband


More than half of Seattleites live in apartments, condominiums and townhomes, known as multiple-dwelling-units or MDUs. And permitting records show nearly 81 percent of Seattle’s new housing builds are MDUs. These residents want access to abundant, high-speed broadband. They rate it as the top amenity when considering a place to live – outranking an in-unit washer and dryer.

While today’s connected mindset has changed the housing market, access to competitive, high-speed options is often limited by outdated wiring in older buildings or a lack of technology planning in new construction.

Enter Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications’ Build for Broadband initiative, an awareness and education effort designed to help building owners, property managers and developers navigate the challenges of providing broadband. The initiative includes a series of free summer webinars with a focus on planning for broadband like any other utility during new construction or during renovations of older buildings.

The Office of Cable Communications recently offered two lunchtime webinars with three more planned. Previous topics included broadband technology 101 and infrastructure pathways for MDU broadband. You can listen to recordings of previous webinars here. The next webinar, noon, Thursday, July 25, will cover G.Fast, an emerging technology to increase broadband speeds using existing wiring in older buildings. Get more details here and register here.

Two August webinars will cover wired and wireless options for broadband and offer an overview of the types of common agreements involved with bringing internet services to an MDU. August webinar dates will be announced soon. Sign up here to get webinar updates and other Build for Broadband news.

The Build for Broadband website offers more information, including Tip-6000, Ensuring Broadband Service Access for MDU Development Projects; broadband provider contacts for service to MDUs; and links to other MDU broadband-related resources.

Alice Lawson

For more information about building for broadband, contact Alice Lawson, broadband and cable program manager, at alice.lawson@seattle.gov or (206) 684-5957.

Alice Lawson is a strategic advisor who’s spent that past decade working on cable, broadband and telecom policy and consumer protection issues. She’s a native Seattleite who’s passionate about supporting city efforts to ensure preparedness for the evolving broadband future, and ensuring the future includes equitable access for all residents.