WASHINGTON, February 11, 2022 – Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel offered his most substantive remarks yet on broadband issues in multiple dwellings at the INCOMPAS 2022 policy summit on Tuesday, observers said at the event.
Rosenworcel has criticized agreements between landlords and internet service providers, which she says contribute to poor internet speeds and high subscription prices in MDUs.
On January 21, 2022, Rosenworcel had published proposed regulations to promote competition and greater broadband choice for tenants of apartment buildings.
If passed, the bylaw will prevent practices that prevent tenants from choosing their own broadband service provider.
The proposal would prohibit broadband providers from entering into revenue-sharing agreements with owners of apartment buildings. If approved by fellow commissioners and therefore adopted as official agency rules, the settlement would also require providers to disclose to tenants any existing marketing agreements they have with building owners.
Jenna Leventoffsenior policy adviser to the nonprofit Public Knowledge, pointed out at the INCOMPAS event that all revenue-sharing agreements between service providers and landlords are problematic, and the panel acknowledged the challenges that copays pose in connection of apartments, since many consumers do not even have bank accounts with which to pay such charges.
The issue was a talking point throughout the day at the summit, with Leventoff joined by Jamie Belcore SaloomDeputy Chief Counsel at the Small Business Administration, and Brian Regansenior vice president of strategy and chief of staff at Starry Internet provider.
Fiber versus wireless
Policy pundits have expressed differing positions on the extent to which fiber and wireless are ultimate solutions for future broadband.
A roundtable among 5G experts saw the claim that fiber is useful for connectivity, but wireless networks need to be deployed in an area, in addition to fiber, to really achieve the coverage needed to the future.
In contrast Ernesto FalconSenior legislative counsel for digital rights group the Electric Frontier Foundation said multi-gig wireless networks aren’t truly wireless because they’re more than 90% fiber.
Another objective of the summit was to find out how members of the broadband industry will use the funds granted to them by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and how important this funding is for these same people. groups. Representatives from infrastructure builders Crown Castle, Tilson, Unite Private Networks, Uniti Group and C Spire all answered these questions.
CEO of Tison Josh Broder said his company recognizes the need for these funds and said Tilson, as a company, is itself the product of the government’s latest major investment in broadband, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Uniti Group Vice President Kelly McGriffexpressed Uniti’s desire to push connectivity into schools using IIJA funds.
Members of the panel on which Falcon spoke said that broadband companies entering cities for new infrastructure construction must understand the cities in which they operate and also implement an inclusive growth plan.
Senses. Angus KingD Maine, Michael Benet, D-Colo., and Rosenworcel all punctuated the need for high-capacity broadband, especially in education. King said the COVID-19 pandemic “has really put an exclamation mark on the importance of broadband.”
Bennet, a former school principal, said he understood the importance of broadband in education long before COVID-19, and said a digital divide in broadband can no longer be accepted as normal. .
Journalist TJ York contributed to this story.