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MDU Cable Lock Box - Neutral Cable Lock Box

Here is a typical scenario:

An MDU owner or HOA signs a right of entry agreement with a satellite provider, asking the provider to compete with the incumbent cable operator for subscribers at an apartment or condominium property. The agreement gives the satellite provider a right to access and use existing inside wiring to carry its signal to subscribers. However, the incumbent cable company refuses to open its proprietary lock box, and warns the alternative provider that anyone tampering with the box will prosecuted for trespass and vandalism.

The property owner/HOA can address incumbents’ anti-competitive practices involving access to inside wiring by installing a neutral lock box. All home run wires serving all units terminate at the neutral lock box, which is owned by the property owner and placed adjacent to the cable company’s proprietary lock box. Home run wires are connected to each provider’s system by means of a jumper from the neutral box to each provider’s proprietary box. Once installed, the neutral lock box minimizes the need for any service provider to interfere with a competitor’s access to existing inside wiring at the demarcation point.


"Our 399 unit condo decided to move from a bulk cable service contract to a competitive cable service environment. Carl helped us manage the complicated process of terminating the multiyear bulk contract ...


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Member, Board of Directors
Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC) 

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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