Here’s when the FCC’s ruling takes effect, and what you need to know about it. 

On March 28, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published official details of its recently unveiled Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling on broadband competition in multiple tenant environments (MTEs). With its release in the federal register, the FCC’s actions now have an effective date whereby compliance will be mandatory.

After April 27, 2022, no common carrier of telecommunication services shall enter into any contract with a MTE that gives the premise owner compensation on an exclusive or graduated basis. Parties to existing contracts, as of April 27, will have until September 26, 2022, to cancel, replace or void terms and obligations pertaining to compensation on an exclusive or graduated basis.

The FCC’s order also requires telecommunication service providers to disclose any exclusive marketing arrangements in material distributed to a MTE’s residents. Furthermore, the FCC reaffirms that sale-and-leaseback arrangements are an unlawful practice.

The FCC’s actions are disappointing and disrupt the success of current partnership-based models. The value of these partnerships encourages greater investment in high-quality, affordable broadband access, helps offset the multitude of routine operating costs and maintains housing affordability. The National Apartment Association (NAA) continues its advocacy efforts to educate policymakers on the operational consequences of this policy approach and support the industry with compliance resources.

For more information on telecommunications policy, please reach out to Sam Gilboard, NAA’s Senior Manager of Public Policy.