If you feel like you’ve been paying too much for your internet service, then there is a possibility that you really have. The Federal Communications Commission has started an investigation into the relationships that landlords have with their tenants regarding internet services and if there are more options that are available that tenants don’t know about.
An announcement was recently made by the FCC that it wants to hear from customers in order to better understand what they think of the broadband internet service that they have. They want to hear from those who live in apartments and who rely on the apartment complex to provide fast satellite internet service. The FCC wants to be made aware of any of the challenges that customers have to deal with as well as any benefits of living in an apartment where the internet is already provided. The Biden Administration voiced concerns over the summer of 2021 about challenges that those who live in apartments face and wants to know how to solve those issues.
Some of the details that the FCC wants to learn about are the agreements that are in place between internet providers and landlords who manage apartments. The FCC does prohibit companies the parties from entering into an agreement that would force residents to only have access to one provider. However, there are a few other ways that residents could be limited as to the type of internet that’s available and the provider they want to use.
One type of agreement that is common among apartment tenants is revenue sharing. This is an agreement that involves an internet provider and the landlord. The landlord would be rewarded in some way after an agreement is signed with a particular provider. Exclusive wiring agreements and marketing agreements are also at the top of the list of those that the FCC wants to examine and learn more about so that changes can be made if they are needed. A wiring agreement would allow one provider to use the wiring in a building while a marketing agreement would allow a provider the ability to advertise to tenants while offering a payment of some type to the landlord based on the number of new customers that the company gets.
Even though these agreements are at the forefront of the information that the FCC wants to learn about, there are other agreements that are in place that could be impacting other providers from offering internet services to those who live in apartment buildings. A Public Notice that has been issued provides a way for customers to submit a comment and also allows for numerous ways to submit the information. The FCC hopes to gather the information that it’s collecting within a certain length of time so that it can begin putting together a plan of action if one is needed in order for customers to have more options for internet service. Aside from more provider options, the FCC wants to look for more ways to save customers money.
The FCC is requesting this information because the Biden administration wants to look at some of the problems that are associated with competition among providers. Aside from internet service, the administration also wants to look at healthcare providers, the transportation industry, and companies that are involved in travel.