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Ownership of Cable Inside Wiring - Wiring as a Fixture - Exclusive Use of Inside Wiring

Ownership of cable inside wiring is generally allocated by agreement between the service provider and the MDU property owner (or HOA). Where the ownership issue is not addressed in an agreement, the wiring is presumptively a fixture of the real estate and therefore the property of the owner.

However, where the inside wiring is owned by a video service provider (or “MVPD”), the FCC’s rules for home run wiring (47 CFR 76.804) and for cable home wiring (47 CFR 76.802) provide procedures by which the property owner may in some circumstances gain control over the wiring once the cable operator has lost its legal right to provide cable service to all or some residents at an MDU property. If these rules are utilized properly, the property owner can make the existing inside wiring available for use by a competitive service provider.

Note: The FCC rules only apply where the cable inside wiring is owned by a video service provider; the rules do not apply where the wiring is owned by the property owner. Parties may avoid application of the FCC rules by specifying in a contract that the inside wiring is owned by the property owner, but exclusive use of the wiring is granted to a particular service provider.


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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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