Vol. 18, No. 4
January 24, 2022
INCOMPAS Praises FCC Item on Improving Access to MTEs
INCOMPAS welcomed the news Friday from FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel that the Commission will take action to finally open up apartment buildings, condos and other commercial multi-tenant buildings to more broadband competition, with hopes that the proposals will be bold enough to discourage commercial arrangements that result in monopoly lock ups that impact over 30% of American consumers.

“For far too long monopolies have locked out broadband competition and blocked faster speeds, lower prices and better service to a hundred million Americans who live in apartments and condo buildings. We are encouraged to hear that Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has taken action to move forward on an Order in the proceeding. We look forward to reviewing the details of the Order to ensure that more American consumers and businesses will have full access to broadband competition, which is their right under the law," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering.

“President Biden and former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have championed this issue, and we look forward to working with Chairwoman Rosenworcel and the entire FCC to forge a bipartisan decision that will enable every customer to choose their broadband provider and will lead to more competition bringing faster speeds, better customer service, and lower prices.”

According to the FCC news release, the Order and Declaratory Ruling would:
  • Prohibit providers from entering into graduated revenue sharing agreements or exclusive revenue sharing agreements with a building owner.
  • Require providers to disclose to tenants in plain language the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements that they have with building owners.
  • End a practice that circumvents the FCC’s cable inside wiring rules by clarifying that existing FCC rules prohibit sale-and-leaseback arrangements that effectively block access to alternative providers.
Next NTIA Broadband Grant Listening Session Set for Jan. 26
NTIA is hosting broadband grant program public virtual listening sessions in connection with the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program; the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program; and the Digital Equity Act Programs, which include the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. These public virtual listening sessions are designed to collect stakeholder input to help inform program development and implementation.

Virtual public listening sessions will take place:
  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, February 9, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. EST

These listening sessions will be hosted via NTIA’s virtual platform. Registration information will be available on the NTIA's BroadbandUSA website.
FCC Releases Final Rules, FNPRM on ACP
The FCC, on January 14, announced that it adopted a report and order and FNPRM that provides detailed guidance for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a $14.2 billion federal initiative. The ACP will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $30 a month for broadband service, up to $75 a month if the household is on tribal lands, and a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. Late last week, the FCC released the final rules for the ACP along with statements from each commissioner about the program.