from ars technica
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to ban the exclusive revenue-sharing deals between landlords and Internet service providers that prevent broadband competition in apartment buildings and other multi-tenant environments. The new ban and other rule changes were adopted in a 4-0 vote announced yesterday.
Although the FCC “has long banned Internet service providers from entering into sweetheart deals with landlords that guarantee they are the only provider in the building,” evidence submitted to the commission “made it clear that our existing rules are not doing enough and that we can do more to pry open the door for providers who want to offer competitive service in apartment buildings,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in her statement on the vote. The broadband industry has sidestepped rules that already exist with “a complex web of agreements between incumbent service providers and landlords that keep out competitors and undermine choice,” she said.
With the new rules, “we ban exclusive revenue sharing agreements, where the provider agrees with the building that only it and no other provider can give the building owner a cut of the revenue from the building. We also ban graduated revenue sharing agreements, which increase the percentage of revenue that the broadband provider directs to the landlord as the number of tenants served by the provider go up,” Rosenworcel said. Rosenworcel had circulated the proposal to commissioners in late January.