FCC Acts to Increase Broadband Competition in Apartment Buildings

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission announced that it has adopted rules to unlock broadband competition for those living and working in apartments, public housing, office buildings, and other multi-tenant buildings.  The rules prohibit broadband providers from entering into certain revenue sharing agreements with a building owner that keep competitive providers out of buildings.  The rules also require providers to inform tenants about the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements in simple, easy-to-understand language that is readily accessible.  Finally, in a Declaratory Ruling, the Commission clarifies that existing Commission rules regarding cable inside wiring prohibit so-called sale-and-leaseback arrangements that block competitive access to alternative providers.

“One third of this country live in multi-tenant buildings where there often is only one choice for a broadband provider, and no ability to shop for a better deal,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.  “The rules we adopt today will crack down on practices that prevent competition and effectively block a consumer’s ability to get lower prices or higher quality services.”

In January, Chairwoman Rosenworcel circulated a proposed Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling aimed at promoting competition and increased choice for broadband services for people living and working in multiple tenant environments (MTEs), which the Commission has now adopted in a 4-0 vote. 

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