FCC ruling puts broadband choice into US apartments and offices

US public housing has become infamous for it’s poor quality, underfunding and mismanagement resulting in tenants living in crumbling buildings with billions in repair backlogs, whilst Americans usually see it as the last resort for those with no other options.

Now a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission is going to ease one part of the puzzle for those living and working in apartments, public housing, office buildings, and other multi-tenant buildings, by enhancing broadband competition. This is a crucial part of the move towards a more connected America, prohibiting broadband providers from keeping competitive providers out of buildings – typically via revenue sharing agreements with building owners – and making any information about marketing deals readily (and clearly) available.

Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement “One third of this country live in multi-tenant buildings where there often is only one choice for a broadband provider, and no ability to shop for a better deal.”

An extension to the ruling covers the wiring inside the building, prohibiting so-called sale-and-leaseback arrangements that block competitive access to alternative providers, meaning that in many multi-tenant environments already existing coaxial networks can be used by competitive providers rather than having to install expensive and labour-intensive fibre to the building.

One company that sees the advantage of this is InCoax Networks who provides fibre access extension technology which can be leveraged to enhance the capabilities of existing networks.

InCoax Head of Marketing, Sales and Product Management Helge Tiainen said “The FCC’s ruling will help open up the choice of broadband providers to empower millions of US tenants in their multi-tenant environments and lessen the barriers of broadband competition,”

“By reusing existing in-building infrastructure for broadband access, it can address the complexities that operators face when looking to bring connectivity to existing apartments and office buildings.”

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