Fixing the Broadband Game

Whether we like it not, the truth is that we have to deal with all sorts of things in our lives. Some are good and some are bad, but whatever it turns out to be, we are encouraged to just keep moving forward under all circumstances. Now, while that sounds like a pretty simple advice, it does not take into account the complete picture of a real world. You see, apart from just good or bad, we also sometimes go up against forces, which are capable enough to cause some irreversible damage. With such a possibility entering the play, things can become volatile really quick; hence we have set-up certain regulatory bodies throughout the spectrum. These bodies are supposed to protect the larger interests by imposing stringent regulations. The said responsibility, however, has taken up many different shapes over the years. For instance, when a creation like technology arrived on the scene, it opened up a lot of loopholes for the rule breakers. Before anyone could realize, technology was being used to exploit the regulatory framework in a rather brazen fashion. So, to stop this freefall, the regulators ended up adopting a whole new approach. Instead of staying rigid, the regulators today are practicing continuous alteration of their focus, and the said factor was quite apparent in FCC’s latest proposal.

Federal Communications Commission has formally put-forth a proposal, which will see the authority cut-back on ISP lock-ins at apartment complexes. Particular ISPs taking over whole neighborhood has been a major issue for some time now. The practice actually started off to reward companies for their investment around setting up a new connection, but soon enough providers were resorting to uncompetitive practices. They would sign a revenue-sharing agreement with the building management and grab the rights to be their sole provider in exchange of regular under-the-table kickbacks. The new proposal, if approved, will put an end to such dirty tricks by banning revenue-sharing agreements altogether. Furthermore, the proposal will make it mandatory to inform the tenants about other arrangements like marketing that are allowing the connection to be exclusive.

“With more than one-third of the U.S. population living in apartments, mobile home parks, condominiums, and public housing, it’s time to crack down on practices that lock out broadband competition and consumer choice. Consumers deserve access to a choice of providers in their buildings,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC chairwoman.

FCC opened its investigation into the issue only recently, but it didn’t take the officials long to observe  “a pattern of new practices that inhibit competition, contrary to the Commission’s goals, and limit opportunities for competitive providers to offer service for apartment, condo and office building unit tenants.”


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