Sizing up the box - Verizon in the MDU market

Of course, New York City's MDUs vary widely in size, age and shape. Pre-wiring a new building is one thing, but going into an older MDU poses the issues of getting access to the building, the building's riser, and the nature of each living unit.

Overall, Lavendos says that wiring any existing building for FTTP depends on that building's unique characteristics. "It all depends on the box, and by the box I mean just the building structure itself," he said. "How was it built, when it was built, and what challenges does the architecture present to us, but with any of those where there's a will there's a way."

Along with new ONTs, Verizon has been able to take advantage of new advances including a rapid plug and play fiber custom cabling in the vertical part of the riser and horizontal low-profile cabling and bend sensitive fiber that goes into the common living space.

Verizon essentially divides how it will wire 'a box' into three pieces: how to move efficiently in a vertical manner; how to get across the common space horizontally; and once it is in the apartment how it will manage the building's aesthetic. "Depending on the building," Lavendos said. "How tall it is, how intricate the layout is makes the challenges higher or lower. It's not that there's something we can't surmount but rather what tools are we going to use."

Analysts agree that managing that aesthetic and keeping any disturbance to tenants and landlords to a minimum above all is the real challenge. "Verizon has committed that every property they go into they leave it as good as it was or better," Greenholtz said.

"They are making sure there's no exposed wires, no equipment that's visible. They're going out of their way to make sure that this project is done totally in a manner that no one can come back and say 'why is this like this.'

But while it might be fiber to every unit, the question becomes how will they distribute services within that living unit?

There, Verizon is continuing to leverage existing coax via Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) connections.

Of course, dealing with inside wiring is again another point on its respective checklist to ensure it can support current and future products it will offer to MDU dwellers. If the internal wiring is not up to snuff they will replace it, but Lavendos says it's a non-issue.

"Most of the stuff that we find these days is good standard and our interconnect point is within the unit," Lavendos said.

"We're going to the use of MoCA inside the apartment so distance challenges--to replace or not replace a segment of coax--are not that big of a deal."

Sizing up the box - Verizon in the MDU market