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Legal Strategies for MDU Owners

How does an MDU owner deal with issues of existing wiring infrastructure?   October 2004

Imagine you are the owner of multiple-dwelling unit buildings. All residents of your properties have either video or broadband Internet services, or both, provided by a large franchised cable operator ("MSO"). However, some residents have expressed their desire for an alternative provider. You have spoken with an alternative, namely, a private cable operator. This PCO is ready and willing to serve residents with a superior product, but on the condition that he can use the existing wiring infrastructure that was installed many years ago throughout the buildings by a predecessor of the current MSO (i.e., a previous franchised cable operator).

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Ownership Of And Access To Inside Wiring

Coxcom v. Picerne   August 2004

The Rhode Island Superior Court's recent decision in Coxcom v. Picerne Real Estate Group, 2003 WL 22048781 (R.I. Super 2003) contains probably the most complete and detailed judicial analysis of the FCC's inside wiring rules on record. For that reason, this decision has potentially significant implications for MDU owners and private cable operators ("PCOs") alike.

This article summarizes the court's discussion of the FCC's rules regarding "home run wiring," that is, that segment of the cable wiring running between the "pedestal" or "junction box" and the subscriber's individual unit.1 The FCC rules allow an MDU owner to force the incumbent franchised MSO to make the existing home run wiring available for use by a competing PCO to serve MDU residents.

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Industry Urges FCC To Enhance Competition In MDUs

June 2003

The Independent Multifamily Communications Counsel (IMCC) is lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to interpret the MDU Inside Wiring Rules so that some of the arguments used by franchised cable to frustrate competition in MDUs (multi-dwelling units) are tossed out the window. These issues are important to private cable operators, multiple dwelling unit owners and residents, and the DBS companies. They have been brought before the FCC in the form of Requests for Declaratory Ruling and can be read on the IMCC web site,

Read more... [Industry Urges FCC To Enhance Competition In MDUs]

Competitive Access to Cable Inside Wiring in MDU Buildings

January 2003

The owner of a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) building may wonder how he can bring an alternative video provider (a private cable operator or "PCO," for example) into his building to compete for subscribers with the incumbent franchised cable operator. This presents a problem due to the economics of the PCO industry: the capital investment required to install a second set of wires is generally not justified by the anticipated returns from head-to-head competition in a single building. The key to effective competition in the MDU market is allowing competitive providers to utilize (some segments of) existing wiring infrastructure in MDU buildings.

Read more... [Competitive Access to Cable Inside Wiring in MDU Buildings]
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In wake of the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry called Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments, competitive access to multi-tenant properties is again a burning public policy issue. We intend to summarize the controversy in a series of blog entries in the coming weeks.

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