Yesterday, the FCC modified its building inside wiring rules governing service provider access to apartment, condominium, and office buildings, otherwise known as multi-tenant environments or multiple dwelling unit buildings (MTEs). Note that in particular circumstances these rules can also apply to private real estate developments, trailer parks, and planned community developments located on private land.

Some background: Starting in 1993 FCC wiring rules have prohibited certain exclusive agreements between telecommunications providers and mul­tichannel video programming distributors and MTE building owners that grant the provider exclusive access to and rights to provide service to an MTE. Underpinning those rules is an FCC policy that exclusive access and service contracts harm competition and consumers by limiting service choice in MTE buildings.

Nonetheless, the rules had always made compromises that opened loopholes creating avenues to de facto exclusivity, and those loopholes were widely and creatively exploited. Over time, those loopholes have gradually been closed, and here the FCC takes its latest step to advance that closure.

Continue Reading FCC Acts to Prohibit Exclusive Service and Wiring Arrangements in Office, Condominium, and Apartment Buildings

As part of the 2019 year-end congressional appropriations wrap-up free-for-all, Congress adopted a new Section 642 of the Communications Act that significantly changes how a cable operator advertises and bills video subscribers. The law applies to both stand-alone video programming packages and the video portion of bundled plans that combine video programming with broadband Internet service.

Under the law, cable operators must change their billing practices as follows by June 20, 2020.

Continue Reading Congress Adopts New Cable Operator Advertising and Billing Requirements Affecting Both Video and Broadband Internet Offerings