|Date: March 19, 2008|
On March 19, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to ban exclusive agreements between apartment firms and telephone providers. The ban applies to both new and existing contracts. The FCC announced the ban following its meeting, but it has not released the actual Order. NMHC/NAA will issue additional guidance once the Order is released, although, per the Commission's usual practice, that may not be for some time.
This latest action comes after the FCC voted in 2007 to ban exclusive contracts between apartment owners and cable providers. NMHC/NAA continue to oppose these bans as improper exercises of power and misguided attempts by the FCC to manufacture competition through regulation instead of forcing the telecom firms to compete for new business.
We also argue that there is no market justification for the action. In 2001, when the FCC banned exclusive agreements between telephone companies and commercial properties, it specifically exempted residential buildings because it agreed that such arrangements could promote competition in the apartment sector. To our knowledge, the FCC has no evidence or research contradicting that earlier conclusion and justifying such an extreme regulatory action.
NMHC/NAA have filed a lawsuit seeking to have the FCC's ban on exclusive contracts with cable providers overturned.