FCC boosts competitive phone, video opportunities in multi-unit buildings

JUNE 1, 2007 -- New entrants to the video services and telephony markets should not be prevented from competing for consumers in multi-unit buildings based on costly and inefficient industry practices, says the Commission.

JUNE 1, 2007 -- The Federal Communications Commission (search for FCC) yesterday took action to ensure that consumers in multi-unit buildings enjoy the benefits of increased competition in telephone and video service offerings.

The Commission says it has eliminated barriers to competitive entry in multi-unit buildings where a new entrant seeks to compete against an incumbent provider. New entrants to the video services and telephony markets should not be prevented from competing for consumers in multi-unit buildings based on costly and inefficient industry practices, notes the Commission.

Specifically, the Commission clarified that:

  • Competitive video services providers must not be forced to cut through sheet rock to connect their cable wiring to cable home wiring inside a unit. The Commission found that wiring behind sheet rock is "physically inaccessible" for the purposes of inside wiring rules, like brick, cinder block, and similar materials used to construct ceilings and hallways.
  • Competing telephone companies must have access to the incumbent's inside wire sub-loops in multi-unit premises at the terminal block in order to install service. The inside wire sub-loop typically is used by competing telephone companies to connect to individual consumers in multi-unit buildings.

    By removing economic and operational barriers to infrastructure investment in the communications market, the Commission believes its action furthers the opportunity for consumers to enjoy the social and economic benefits of communications services competition.


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