Print 28 comment(s) - last by SpaceRanger.. on Mar 22 at 5:57 PM

The FCC pulls the plug on exclusive telephone operator deals with multi-resident apartment buildings

After talk on Tuesday of the Federal Communications Commission considering putting the kibosh on exclusive deals between telephone companies and apartment building owners, the result vote on Wednesday gave us their answer.  The FCC voted to ban any deals between telephone operators and “residential, multi-tenant” building owners, and unanimously voted to terminate any existing contracts between parties.

The idea behind the decision is the FCC’s goal of bolstering competition in the telecommunications market.  Any scenario where there is a lack of competition must be dealt with.  The support for completion, the FCC believes, is what the drives the telecom market and allows companies to keep their prices down.  Also, competition will boost the market by allowing other players to join, drives investment, and increases the quality of services.

"One way in which the condition promotes competition is the removal of obstacles to competitive access," stated Amy Vendor, FCC’s legal counsel for this decision, prior to the vote. ” This item furthers the objective by ensuring that exclusive contracts no longer serve as obstacles to competing providers who offer telecommunications services in multiple tenant environments.”

Just last year, the FCC voted for banning contracts between cable operators and residential, multi-tenant buildings, claiming the same argument.

Multi-resident building associations and councils are not too happy about the FCC decision, arguing that there has been no evidence of market failure, so there is no reason for the FCC to extend its power into the real estate industry.

The National Multi-Housing Council, the National Apartment Association, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, unhappy with the vote, are currently appealing the decision.

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Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By SpaceRanger on 3/20/2008 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 5
Any scenario where there is a lack of competition must be dealt with.

Cable Companies?!?!?! I'd love to have a CHOICE here... Expecially when it comes to Internet Service.

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By amanojaku on 3/20/2008 3:59:16 PM , Rating: 5
Peasant! You will take our single-provider-fuzzy-picture-hardly-working coaxial up your @$$ and like it!

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By nace186 on 3/20/2008 5:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Master...

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By EglsFly on 3/20/2008 6:16:58 PM , Rating: 5
Thank you and may I please have another...

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By OPR8R on 3/20/2008 4:07:32 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, not to come off as bitter but who even cares about access to multiple telco. services? I haven't had need for a landline in close to 10 years.

I too would like it if there weren't a virtual monopoly on cable TV. IMO, DirectTV isn't a viable option for apartment dwellers, like myself.

Either this has been a long time in the making, or the FCC has their priorities mixed up....

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By eyebeeemmpawn on 3/20/2008 5:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
amen brother.

I'm in the same boat with the cell phone only. But the FCC allows the cable companies to have exclusivity agreements with towns. Why is that ok??? $65 a month after fees for basic cable internet??? are you f%&king kidding me???

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By Rugar on 3/21/2008 9:23:16 AM , Rating: 2
Dude. I'd love to get it for freakin $65/month. I pay $95/month for expanded basic cable and the cheapest cable internet package.

<Sarcasm>Hooray for municipal providers!</Sarcasm>

By eyebeeemmpawn on 3/21/2008 10:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
it would be the same for us here, $65 a month for comcast basic cable, or $65 a month for cable internet. Together it be $130. Of course there is a package deal, $60 a month for basic cable and internet for 12 months, but thats only for new customers :) Gotta love the "free market"

By FITCamaro on 3/21/2008 12:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
I pay $135 for digital cable and highspeed. Sure thats with an HD DVR and HD channels but thats only like $20 extra. So I'm paying about $115 for what you pay $95 for.

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By MrSmurf on 3/20/2008 6:59:05 PM , Rating: 3
directv, dish and u-verse... all alternatives to cable

By eyebeeemmpawn on 3/21/2008 10:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
...if you're allowed to install a satellite dish at your residence.

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By epsilonparadox on 3/21/2008 10:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
Just last year, the FCC voted for banning contracts between cable operators and residential, multi-tenant buildings, claiming the same argument.

Doesn't this answer your question?

By SpaceRanger on 3/22/2008 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
No. In my area, townships have exclusive deals with the cable companies. Where I live I have to use Comcast and that is it. Sure I could go Sat. for my TV (which I am doing right now) but when it comes to Internet service, it's either Comcast, Verizon DSL (which I don't qualify for since I am too far from the telco), Sat. Internet (like I need to defend this one), or Dialup. You tell me... What am I to do if I want high-speed internet?

Next town over is Cablevision. FIOS isn't around yet (Praying for this to come along here)...

RE: Telco's... Fine.. What about???
By rudy on 3/22/2008 4:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the FCC needs to wake up and treat all communication companies the same for far to long the Cable companies continuously avoid getting piled under these regulations. Internet, TV and phone are all communications we need and they need to all be regulated the same. Comcast keeps increasing their rates when everyone else is going down. I also have friends with terrible service for internet in apartment complexes who cannot get any other provider due to a contract.

By FITCamaro on 3/20/2008 3:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Just last year, the FCC voted for banning contracts between cable operators and residential, multi-tenant buildings, claiming the same argument.

Now I can force my apartment complex to let me have Comcast's service instead of the crappy company I have. They told me themselves they have an exclusive deal with the company I use which according to this is now illegal. So it's either let me use Comcast or I sue their @$$.

By lexluthermiester on 3/20/2008 4:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
The company you use now must have seriously foul service if you are looking to Comcast with a gleam in your eye... The best I can get from my Comcast connection is 1.3mbps through that 6mbps I pay for. And yes I know the small print says "up to". Still when I had DSL, the connection was always at or near 3.8mbps, out of the 4.5mbps I was paying for... I miss DSL...

By EglsFly on 3/20/2008 6:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Here are my Comcast speed test results:
Down: 29125 kb/s
Up: 2459 kb/s

By goku on 3/21/2008 1:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
If you're getting less than half of your rated speed, you should call comcrap as even they'll admit that isn't acceptible. Otherwise if it's more than half but less than your rated speed, it's much harder to get them to work on it.

By SpaceRanger on 3/20/2008 4:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I had multiple cable providers here... Maybe someday...

By KillerNoodle on 3/20/2008 4:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes there might have been an exclusive agreement between You and the complex before and the FCC did nullify such a deals. But the thing is that company X will never let company Y use their infrastructure with out getting paid for it. This means that company Y will not use company X's infrastructure unless it passes the costs on to you.

In your case Comcast has yet to install anything at your building and thus Comcast is (IMHO) lying to you since it is now their fault that they can't provide service to you since they have yet to put the cable in.

I just hope that complexes do not hinder the installation of a new companies network. (This will be the next short fall of this I think)

By FITCamaro on 3/21/2008 8:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
Comcast has lines in the ground. It services the neighborhood next to my complex. I talked to them a while ago and they said they could hook it up, they just weren't allowed to due to the exclusive deal.

By fic2 on 3/21/2008 1:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting to see the thing about the FCC banning multi-resident building/cable contracts. My building has such a contract in place partly because we get extended basic cable and HBO for $22/month. Much cheaper than if every resident got the same thing individually.

I can see where it would suck with some apartments thinking that cable is yet another revenue stream for them. But resident owned buildings usually try to do what is best for the residents.

By mattclary on 3/20/2008 4:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
What choice? How many cities have more than one cable company or phone company? At least in a given neighborhood.

RE: Choice?
By FITCamaro on 3/20/2008 4:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
They're more talking about apartment complexes. All they're saying is that multi-tenant buildings cannot have exclusive contracts to keep out competitors.

For cable, my apartment complex has a company called Knology. However, Comcast lines are also in the ground and I was told that I could not have them due to the complex having an exclusive contract with Knology. Thanks the previous FCC ruling, that contract is now illegal.

RE: Choice?
By ebakke on 3/20/2008 5:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
My apartment does the same thing, except they partner with a local phone company. Which means my only television option is satellite.

It has irritated me to the core that I get no say whatsoever, and it's something I didn't learn until after I signed the lease. I love that I can now decide what service is best for me, instead of giving my landlord that power.

Lobbyist up in arms!
By rsmech on 3/20/2008 7:22:24 PM , Rating: 3
Just another ruling for competition & choice for the little guy. Congress better start their investigation soon (previous article on DT) before the lobbyist get even more upset with the politicians in their pocket. But maybe this will persuade them to give more bribes, I mean donations for the next election.

Of course, there will be an appeal
By AlexWade on 3/20/2008 5:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
The National Multi-Housing Council, the National Apartment Association, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, unhappy with the vote, are currently appealing the decision.

Of course they would. The Big Apartment cartel stands to lose $payoffs$. The deprecated dinosaurs of the telecom industry stands to go out of business. The only entity that wins with open competition is the consumers.

Telephone companies, adapt or die. The future is VoIP and cell phones. If you embrace the future instead of fight the future, you will survive the inevitable. As soon as Vonage and other VoIP providers can get their call quality equal to land line, your days are done. And good riddance too.

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