As landlords focus on quality broadband service, the FCC’s decision not to touch mass agreements will provide consumers with quality service in all types of multi-family communities.
In February, the FCC issued a report, order, and declaratory decision “guaranteeing competitive choice of communications services in MDUs.” Why bother with the single-family market where there is only an incumbent cable company that is sometimes pushed around by a fiber overbuilder? Let’s address the real concern of apartment communities. This is where providers can make a real difference, the FCC said.
The FCC issued new rules regarding certain types of revenue-sharing agreements and created disclosure requirements for exclusive marketing agreements. It also ended the use of sale and leaseback provisions between IML owners and internal wiring providers. In other words, the agency has made some changes around the edges, describing landlords as “landlords” who only have a hand in for more revenue.
MDU owner transformation
Over the past two decades, there has been a transformation among property owners and their view of ancillary services and amenities. Although they seek diverse income in these areas, creating lifestyle amenities is key to making their properties more attractive to potential residents. Direct payments do not represent enough revenue to support an additional occupied unit.
But making the wrong technology decisions can negatively affect more than a single unit’s rental income. Landlords care about multiple sources of cash flow and rental rates and strive to continually improve the value of their property.
The FCC has created a solution that does not match the realities of today’s market. The owners are very concerned about the quality of these services and giving residents what they want. Do you have any service level commitments from your cable company if you own a home? Do you have any control over prices or conditions? No.
Mass Internet Review
This brings me to the bulk internet. The FCC assessed the merits of the internet en masse in 2010 and chose not to act. He reviewed it again in 2017 and found no reason to change the rules. In 2022, she made the right choice to maintain the mass agreements.
Landlords are using bundled deals to benefit their residents, and the demand for such deals is only accelerating. This is a good thing.
Bundled deals provide quality high-speed Internet services to residents of all types of multi-family communities. Internet service providers offer above-market speed at a reasonable rate in affordable housing communities. There are no setup fees, credit checks, individual contracts to sign, or waiting at home for a technician to arrive. Everything is included in the rent, providing a great way for low-income housing families to access the internet for school, work or play.
Today, wholesale internet deals are setting up shop in hundreds of affordable housing developments across the United States. In many establishments, properties use managed Wi-Fi networks that provide always-on Internet access without equipment. Additionally, bundled agreements include onsite technical support, access to customer service, and an easy-to-reach helpdesk. Bundled contracts help bridge the digital divide.
Bundled deals are also ideal for luxury apartments, where many residents are heavy users of innovative home apps. They like to watch over their home while they are away.
Additionally, all types of apartments are experiencing drastic changes in the work-from-home lifestyles of their residents. This makes the need for bulk internet even more critical. Quality bundle agreements come with modern infrastructure, service level obligations for vendors, and great convenience for end users.
Some might suggest that bundled deals limit options. In general, this is not the case – alternatives continue to be available from traditional providers. Additionally, as a long-time wholesale service provider, I can tell you that the level of competition to win a wholesale deal is intense, sometimes involving more than seven to 10 competitors bidding for those rights.
The FCC got it right by leaving the mass agreements intact. The merits are clear and the benefits to the consumer are apparent.
I hope the FCC will continue to make it right.
Bryan Rader is the president of MDU for Pavlov Media.