Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FCC Bans Exclusive MDU TV Agreements

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned agreements that provide exclusive access for TV services to multiple dwelling units (MDUs) that include apartment buildings, condominiums, and other types of real estate development.

The FCC found that:
  • Exclusivity clauses harm competition and broadband deployment and can insulate the incumbent from any need to improve its service.
  • Exclusivity clauses are widespread in agreements between TV providers and MDU owners.
  • Cable operators have increased the use of exclusivity clauses in their agreements with MDU owners with the entry of the U.S. telcos into the video marketplace.
  • the use of exclusivity clauses in contracts for the provision of TV services to MDUs constitutes unfair competition or practices.

The FCC will also take a look at whether it should exclusivity clauses entered into by satellite providers, private cable operators, and other TV providers who are not subject to today's ruling. It will also considere whether it should prohibit exclusive marketing and bulk billing arrangements.

This is good for the telcos offering IPTV services in the U.S. The cable companies have been using these agreements to lock the telcos out. This will no longer be possible.

No comments: