Apartment Industry Telecommunications Issue

Posted By: Greg Brown (deleted) NAA Updates, Operations,

As you may recall, in December 2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved (Link: https://www.naahq.org/news-publications/sf-approves-law-restrict-owners%E2%80%99-control-access-communications-providers?Campaign_name) legislation by a 10-0 vote that requires owners to grant building access to communications service providers when a resident requests such services (codified as Article 52 of the San Francisco Police Code). If a resident requested broadband services from a particular provider, an owner would have very little recourse to prevent the provider from installing equipment in the building and servicing the resident. The ordinance would have serious implications on contractual agreements between owners and providers and interfere with operators’ ability to deliver high quality broadband services to residents.

The Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC) has petitioned (Link: http://www.mfbroadband.org/news/press-release-mbc-asks-fcc-to-overturn-san-francisco-ordinance) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to overturn the ordinance. In support of MBC’s petition, NAA is working with outside counsel to prepare and file comments to address the impacts of the ordinance on multifamily. The National Multifamily Housing Council is also submitting comments. While NAA works on our comments to the FCC, we encourage your members to take action as well. Without intervention from the FCC, the ordinance could be replicated by other jurisdictions around the country. In fact, some of you may already have had exploratory moves taken in your local community along the lines of Article 52.

A template to assist members with drafting comments, and instructions for submitting them to the FCC is available on the NAA resources page for telecommunications issues (Link: https://www.naahq.org/news-publications/multifamily-broadband-council-petitions-fcc-restrictive-telecom-ordinance-sf). The template is intended to provide guidance on information to include in member comments. It isn’t necessary to include information if it is unavailable, confidential or doesn’t apply. Please ensure members remove all brackets, highlighting, numbering and guidance prompts from your document prior to submitting comments to the FCC. The deadline for filing initial comments with the FCC is May 18, 2017 with reply comments due by June 9, 2017. Members can file comments by May 18 or decide to wait and review what others say, and then support or disagree with a point and file a reply comment by June 9.  

Please contact Nicole Upano with any questions.

Thank you for your assistance with this effort.