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NCTA to FCC: Service to Apartments, Condos Is Competitive

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(Image credit: NCTA)

Cable broadband operators are telling the Federal Communications Commission that service to apartments and condos is in good shape, even as the agency considers whether any new regulation is needed to promote choice and improve service to those and other multiple tenant environments (MTEs).

In a meeting last week with staffers of the Wireline Competition Bureau, representatives of NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, and of NCTA members Cox Communications, Comcast and Charter Communications, said that the record in the proceeding demonstrated that "deployment, competition, and consumer choice" are "strong."

NCTA said the current prohibition on exclusive access agreements between cable and telecom providers and MTEs should be extended to all broadband providers.

But the trade group said the FCC should not prohibit exclusive wiring agreements, because those do not deny new entrants access to those apartments and condos. Rather, they are pro-competitive because they “help ensure that state-of-the-art wiring will be deployed in MTEs to the benefit of consumers.”

NCTA also put in a good word for bulk billing and exclusive marketing arrangements.

The FCC this week signaled it was taking “a fresh look at how exclusive agreements between carriers and building owners could lock out broadband competition and consumer choice,” as acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel put it.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.