Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2019

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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BROADBAND POLICY 6 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 9 incentive to reinvest and maintain critical infrastructure they must share with competitors. ough the ordinance gives new providers the benet of demanding access wherever they want it, no corresponding obligation exists to oer competition where there isn't any. As providers look to maximize their returns, they will inevitably focus on serving high-end customers in high- end communities. is type of cherry- picking will leave smaller and more aordable properties with little to no competition and fewer service options, furthering the digital divide rather than improving connectivity. SHARED CONCERNS Given that the ordinance ultimately delivers the opposite of what it promises – higher costs, more limited access, lower quality service, less reliability – the apartment industry continues to oppose the ordinance. e existing rules of the road surrounding broadband infrastructure and deployment are working. Apartment owners and operators actively seek partnerships with providers to deliver a choice of high- quality communication services in all markets. e current regulatory framework allows these partnerships to exist because it has continued to be a proven model of success for deploying broadband and other communications services in an e•cient, market-driven manner that delivers competition, a choice in providers, better prices, and a range of high-quality services for apartment residents. e apartment industry is not alone in speaking out against the ordinance. Many broadband providers themselves, under the umbrella of the Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC), are some of its loudest critics and have led a federal challenge to the law. MBC led a petition with the FCC that seeks to block the ordinance by arguing that it is federally preempted and con…icts with FCC regulations governing inside wiring, network sharing and bulk billing arrangements for broadband service to apartment communities. NMHC, along with individual apartment owners and other real estate groups, has led comments several times in support of the MBC's petition and urges the FCC to strike down the San Francisco ordinance and stop similar eorts in their tracks. e FCC has yet to decide on the petition. Y Kevin Donnelly is the vice president of government aairs for the NMHC in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

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