New FCC rules bring broader choice of internet providers for renters

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is stirring up competition between internet service providers (ISPs) that service apartments. Currently, most Americans who live in apartments only have one choice of internet providers. Oftentimes it is neither the best nor the cheapest option.

What is the FCC doing to bring more internet providers to renters?

The FCC is forcing broadband providers to disclose any sort of exclusive marketing agreements between landlords and tenants. It is also banning any sale-and-leaseback agreements where a landlord exclusively leases from one provider.

One in three people in this country live in an apartment, condominium, public housing, mobile home park, or other multi-tenant environment. In too many of these places, broadband choice can be especially hard to find. There’s often only one provider, and that means those who live there can wind up paying higher prices for lower quality service.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel

When will these changes occur?

These new rules are expected to go into effect sometime later this year. Once in effect, renters can choose any internet provider that services their area, and landlords will not be allowed to interfere. This freedom of choice will shake up the current competition between providers. It can even make services available to those who currently don’t have internet access.

Every American should have access to high-quality, affordable modern communications services—including the one-third who live in multi-unit buildings. For too long, millions of Americans living and working in multi-tenant environments have faced barriers to obtaining the best communications services and prices.

Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks

There are still more issues the FCC needs to address; this is just the beginning. The new regulation will offer millions of renters access to higher quality and more affordable internet service providers than ever before.

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