The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules intended to unlock broadband competition for those living and working in apartments, public housing, office buildings, and other multi-tenant buildings.

Specifically, the new rules prohibit broadband providers from entering into certain revenue sharing agreements with a building owner that keep competitive providers out of buildings. According to the FCC, the rules also require broadband providers to inform tenants about the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements in simple, easy-to-understand language that is readily accessible. As part of its  declaratory ruling, the commission also clarified that existing FCC 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 FCC Chairwoman Jessica 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.”

The newly adopted rules originated in January when Rosenworcel circulated a proposed report and order and declaratory ruling. The FCC adopted those in a 4-0 vote.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs