FCC begins Act II of apartment, condo broadband access drama

8 June 2017 by Steve Blum
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The rules that govern how video, voice and Internet services are delivered to people who live in what the Federal Communications Commission calls multiple tenant environments (MTEs) are complicated. It’s a universe that includes apartments and condominiums (multiple dwelling units/MDUs), and commercial real estate, such as shopping malls or office buildings. Later this month, the FCC will consider, and likely approve, the start of a broad enquiry that could result in an update and overhaul of those regulations.… More

FCC denies challenge to San Francisco open ISP access law

9 May 2017 by Steve Blum
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San Francisco’s open access rule for Internet services providers in apartment and condo buildings is legal according to the Federal Communications Commission. Or at least, a federal law originally written for satellite television viewers doesn’t make it illegal.

The FCC summarily denied a challenge to the San Francisco law from a lobbying front organisation that represents companies, mostly small ones, that make a living signing exclusive broadband service deals with landlords and homeowners associations, who then force their tenants and members to use it and, usually, get a cut of the action.… More

San Francisco ban on exclusive ISP deals goes to FCC

11 April 2017 by Steve Blum
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San Francisco’s open broadband access rule for apartments and condominiums will be tested at the Federal Communications Commission. As adopted by the San Francisco board of supervisors, the ordinance allows any resident of a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) to buy Internet service from any provider. The landlord or homeowner’s association has to allow access to both the building and the existing wiring inside of it. A lobbying front for companies that make a living providing exclusive broadband service to MDUs is asking the FCC to overturn the ruleArticle 52, for short – because, they say, it will result in less competition and fewer choices…

Though styled as a vehicle for promoting consumer “choice” among communications services, Article 52 in fact offers a de facto sweetheart deal to large, well-financed entities by overriding voluntary, contractual arrangements that are preconditions to the financing required for buildout by small, entrepreneurial start-ups.


Verizon threatens to end NYC FiOS service over lawsuit

17 March 2017 by Steve Blum
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New York City is suing Verizon for failing to build out fiber to the home service to all residences as promised and Verizon might retaliate by yanking out television service citywide. And stroppy landlords are making it a three-cornered fight.

Like any legal dispute that’s measured in billions of dollars, it’s a complicated affair. But one of the central issues is Verizon’s problems with getting access to apartment buildings and condos – multi-dwelling units (MDUs).… More

Exclusive deals nixed as ISPs get access to San Francisco MDUs

23 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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It’s open season on apartment buildings and condominiums in San Francisco, at least where communications services are concerned. The San Francisco board of supervisors unanimously approved, and mayor Ed Lee signed, an ordinance that permits residents of multiple dwelling units (MDUs) to buy broadband (and telephone and video) service from any qualified provider. Landlords or homeowners associations have to allow competitive providers access to the property and to any wiring they own. ISPs have to pay “just and reasonable compensation” and give proper notice, as defined in the ordinance.… More

Old real estate business models slowing fiber upgrades

22 April 2014 by Steve Blum
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If you live in an apartment or condominium complex or similar – multiple dwelling units or MDUs as they’re called – then there is an additional hurdle between you and faster Internet service: your landlord or home owners’ association. Generally speaking, ISPs have to get permission to upgrade or install broadband facilities on private property. Those who control access can, in many cases, demand some form of compensation for saying yes.

Google has run into this problem in Kansas City.… More