Broadband Talk

Last Updated: May 21, 2011By

By Morgan Fussell

Dear property owner:

How has the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) issued Order > FCC 07-189 Announcement  > Kevin J. Martin Statement banning exclusivity clauses for the provision of video services to apartment complexes, condominium associations and other qualifying multiple dwelling units made an effect on “video choice” for your communities?  Ending this monopolistic practice by cable providers was designed to create new service options for your residents.  However, many have found that some corporate telecom attorneys’ have responded with very well written  agreements that can often times continue to hand cuff “video choice”.  With this said,  before signing or renewing a contract with a cable, telephone or satellite company, you should do your best to evaluate all your options. You must assess your service needs and clearly understand all known options during your decision making process.  You need to know a few things like:  Where is my agreement, do you understand the language, is the agreement the most current agreement, do I have agreements with more than one provider, can the telephone company provide video to my community? New service options for your communities may now exist that were not permissible prior to the FCC Order.  This FCC Order may have an impact on your current agreements, even if they have not yet expired or are not due to expire in the near future!  Your communities now have the option to bring in more than one provider for video services, offering more choice and selection for your residents. Local, State and Federal Regulations are ever changing. Therefore, conducting research on all providers in your market and the types and levels of service they can provide often pays dividends with tenant satisfaction, increasing incremental cash flow and savings. Making the right move with video providers will increase NOI for your property!

Bottom line, if you combine new emerging technologies with increased competition and recent regulatory changes, your communities now have more choices than ever.  Never assume that the “renewal” options offered by your local cable television or phone company provider are your only options.  Either your single property or your portfolio is very important to cable, satellite and telephone providers, and they ALL want to earn your business and they all have a different story to tell. Auditing your current agreements and determining your position in advance of negotiations is critical in maximizing your NOI for your portfolio or property. Acting too quickly and without guidance often times is a recipe for lost revenue opportunities and more importantly limiting “video choice” for  your communities.  Don’t fall for tactics such as, “we need current paper for our insurance needs” or “we want to ensure your residents will continue to receive our services”, I have never seen a provider “pull the plug” because there was not a current agreement on file.  Remember, their subscribers are your tenants or residents, you need to make the best choice for your community.  Access to your real property asset by a cable, telecom or satellite company is crucial to their cash flow.  These companies are all publically held and subscriber counts tie directly to profits and executive bonuses.  Look for BROADBAND TALK every week.  Next month Morgan will discuss the pros and cons of bulk services for your communities.

The comments and analysis provided in this article are for information purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. In addition, it is important that your association or company review any and all agreements with qualified legal counsel for an accurate and legally reliable evaluation of rights and obligations.

About the author

Morgan Fussell is one our many contributing writers who is a rental property owner as well as the Founder & CEO of MORGAN FUSSELL CONSULTING, Inc. Morgan’s company audits and negotiates video, internet and telephone right of entry, marketing, access and easement agreements for property owners, management companies, associations and legal counsel. With over 25 years of experience, knowledge and contacts in the industry, Morgan and his team navigate their clients through recent Federal Law changes and explain the new competitive environment. His team’s expert knowledge guarantees property owners savings and increased NOI or they are not compensated.  Ask about DIRECTV’s new one satellite dish per building solution. Contact Morgan at: or visit


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