North American Network Operators Group

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FCC Rules (fwd)

  • From: Alex
  • Date: Tue Oct 24 11:18:38 2000

(relatively non-operational)

Interesting ruling that hit my e-mail..

---------- Forwarded message ----------

     Yesterday, the FCC implemented measures to ensure that building owners
do not unreasonably deny competing telecommunications service providers
access to customers in residential and commercial buildings or other
multiple tenant environments ("MTEs").

In a News Release, the FCC indicated it was taking the following actions:

     1.   The FCC forbade telecommunications carriers from entering into
exclusive contracts, preferred provider agreements and similar arrangements
that effectively prohibit property owners from permitting other providers
to access their property.  This does not appear to impact agreements
previously executed.

     2.   The FCC established procedures to facilitate moving the
demarcation point to the minimum point of entry ("MPOE") just inside the
building at the building owner's request in order to reduce the competitive
carriers' dependence on the incumbent local exchange carrier ("ILEC"), the
local Baby Bell company, to gain access to wiring inside the building.
Under current law, the demarcation point may be located at either the MPOE
just inside the building or further inside the building.

     3.   The FCC determined that the Telecom Act of 1996 required that
ILECs must afford telecommunications carriers and cable service providers
reasonable and nondiscriminatory access to conduits and rights-of-way
located in MTEs, to the extent such conduits and rights-of-way are owned or
controlled by the ILEC.

     4.   The FCC prohibited restrictions that impair the installation,
maintenance or use of certain video antennas on property within the
exclusive use or control of the antenna user.

     In addition, the FCC requested, among other things, further comment on
whether (1)  today's prohibition on exclusive contracts in commercial
buildings should be extended to residential buildings, and (2) it should
proscribe carriers from entering into contracts that grant them preferences
other than exclusive access, such as exclusive marketing to tenants or the
payment of landlord bonuses.

     Although the FCC recognized that the real estate industry has taken
"positive steps" to facilitate tenant choice of telecommunications
providers by working toward the development of best practices and model
agreements, it noted that the adopted measures may well be "insufficient"
in themselves to secure a full measures of choice for customers located in
MTEs.  Accordingly, it stated that it will "closely monitor" industry
actions to resolve access concerns.  If such actions are not productive,
the FCC is prepared to take further action, including rules that mandate
access to MTEs.

     It appears that the only immediate impact of these measures on real
estate owners is the prohibition on execution of exclusive and similar
contracts; however, the complete text of the FCC's report and order has not
yet been published.  We will provide a more detailed report on this matter
at that time.