Earlier this week, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Chairwoman of the Commission for another five-year term. Rosenworcel had been serving as Acting-Chair since January 2021.
In this role, the Chairwoman is expected to tackle an ambitious agenda, including reinstituting Obama-era net neutrality regulations and continuing to work to end the digital divide. The timing of much of this work remains uncertain as the Commission is still lacking a Democratic majority with President Biden’s last FCC appointee, Gigi Sohn, still pending in the Senate. Until Sohn is confirmed, many of the high-profile issues prioritized by the Administration cannot move forward because the commission is currently deadlocked at two Democrats and two Republican members.
On Rosenworcel’s agenda is a proceeding that NMHC and its members have been tracking closely. As reported previously, the FCC is continuing to collect information on the state of broadband in the multi-tenant (multifamily, commercial and retail) environment.
Through our filings and industry survey data, NMHC has been able to demonstrate that broadband deployment and access in the multifamily space is working as intended, with nearly 80% of apartment properties having two or more broadband providers on site. The industry and its residents have been well served by the existing partnership model between property owners and broadband providers, which facilitates competition and ultimately leads to the deployment and operation of reliable, high-speed broadband networks at apartment communities.
In the near future, NMHC will work to meet with Chairwoman Rosenworcel as well as other FCC Commissioners and staff on the proceeding. As the Biden Administration and the FCC continue to look at these issues, NMHC and its members will continue its work to highlight our shared goal of ensuring apartment residents have access to high quality, high speed and reliable broadband service.
NMHC stands ready to assist the Biden Administration and the FCC in their work to improve connectivity and bridge the digital divide. For more information on NMHC’s work on broadband and connectivity issues, click here.
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