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
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
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.