Today, the Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a draft Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling that would promote broadband competition and increase service choice for people living or working in multiple tenant environments. These measures would help consumers living in apartments or working in office buildings to choose their own broadband provider instead of being locked into the building’s choice.
The following can be attributed to Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“Although the FCC has rules prohibiting exclusive agreements between landlords and broadband providers, these entities have nevertheless exploited loopholes to limit consumer choice. With almost one-third of the country living in multiple tenant environments, this lack of choice forces people across the country to pay more for a plan that may not meet their needs.
“This FCC action would curtail the worst of these loopholes – including graduated revenue sharing agreements (which encourage landlords to limit which broadband providers can serve a building in order to maximize their own profit) and sale-leaseback agreements (which exist solely to evade current rules).
“We welcome this action as an interim step to advancing consumer choice. However, with landlords and ISP’s constantly creating new loopholes, consumers in multi-tenant environments won’t have full choice until the Commission takes action to ban all arrangements that limit consumer choice in multi-tenant environments. Additionally, the Commission’s efforts to promote broadband competition more broadly will ultimately require the direct authority found in Title II of the Communications Act. We look forward to working with a full Commission to advance these goals.”
You may view our blog post, “Your Landlord Might Be Making Deals With Broadband Providers. We Want Them to Stop,” for more information on multiple tenant building deals and how they impact consumers. You may also view our multi-tenant comments filed with the FCC last year.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.