FCC: No More Exclusive Telecom Deals in Apartments

Channel Partners

March 24, 2008

1 Min Read
FCC: No More Exclusive Telecom Deals in Apartments

The FCC has banned exclusive telecom services contracts in apartments and other multitenant buildings.

Commissioners passed a similar order against exclusive cable video deals in Oct. 2007.

FCC commissioners late last week unanimously agreed that exclusive agreements between carriers and building owners hurt consumers and competition.

There is no reason that consumers living in apartment buildings should be locked into one service provider, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a prepared statement.

The apartment industry, however, disagreed.

Jim Arbury, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Multi Housing Council/National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program, called the March 21 order a misguided attempt to manufacture competition through regulation instead of forcing the telecom firms to compete for new business.

The FCC says it wants to promote competition through this ban and an earlier ban on exclusive contracts between apartment owners and cable providers, Arbury added. But the practical effect of these bans will be the exact opposite — higher prices, worse service and less competition.

Arbury said apartment owners use exclusive contracts to force providers to lower prices and improve service options. His organization has filed a lawsuit against the FCC. It wants the bans overturned.

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