Q&A on The New FCC Ruling with VP of Broadband, Larry LaFreniere
What exactly is going on?
Earlier this year, the FCC changed the way service providers and apartment owners' contracts can be written. Traditionally, there has been a practice in place where owners were paid a graduated revenue from telecom companies. What that means is, that the more of the units that use that provider's service, the higher percentage is paid as a revenue share to the owner. The ruling said that they're banning those agreements effective this year. You can no longer have those agreements, existing agreements are having to be modified, and any new agreements cannot include that kind of language.
What dates or deadlines do I need to know about?
Well, there’s a couple of them. Each of the providers like AT&T, Comcast, Charter, etc. are sending out notices to owners, and these notices sometimes include a deadline. For example, I've seen a 60-day deadline where if you don't reply within 60 days to the proposed amendment, you would be accepting the amendment by default. So that’s a variable date, depending on when the notices go out. Another date to note is September 22nd of this year. That is when the FCC's order goes into effect banning graduated revenue-sharing payments. So if you haven't come to terms on a new agreement that doesn't have a graduate of revenue share, you may not get paid after September of this year.
What do I need to do as an apartment owner?
The best thing you can do is contact us to help you. Most people are not familiar with this ordinance. A lot of owners don't keep track of this or they may not even know where their contracts are stored. We have contacts with all of the major carriers and we can reach out to them once we have your permission. We can ask them to send us your contract, review it for you, and then we can meet with you to share our recommendations.
So if I no longer get my Revenue share, do I still have to market the provider service to my tenants?
Just look at the fine print of your specific agreement. If they’re not paying you per the terms of the agreement, that would be considered a breach of the contract. On the other hand, if you aren’t marketing their service per the terms of the agreement, you may be breaching the contract. That is one of the reasons it is so important to take a close look at your contracts and how the new ruling affects them. We at Quext want to help you so that you aren’t agreeing to terms that may be unfavorable to you.
I don't even know where to begin, what is your advice?
Contact Quext. We will help you! Let us know what you need and we'll take it from there.