The FCC Wants to Ban Apartments from Forcing People to Pay for Cable TV Internet





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One of the last things saving cable TV right now are the millions of people forced to pay for cable TV and Internet through cable companies because they live in an apartment or condo that has a homeowners association (HOA). The FCC has proposed new rules that will make it illegal for apartment companies to bundle internet service into their rent or fees.

Update: WE originally reported this as also including HOA based on the wording of the press release referring to building or apartment complex but the press release does not say HOA. We have reached out to the FCC for comment about if this also includes HOAs in this proposed rule. We have not received clarification from the FCC on this at this time.

“Everyone deserves to have a choice of broadband provider,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “That is why it is not right when your building or apartment complex chooses that service for you, saddling you with unwanted costs, and preventing you from signing up for the plan and provider you really want. This proposal shuts down these practices. It boosts competition and consumer choice and builds on our ongoing efforts to improve broadband transparency.”

Often, these partnerships between cable TV companies and apartments or HOAs don’t just bundle internet but also TV and phone.

According to iProperty Management, there are 355,000 HOAs in the United States, which represent about 40 million housing units. Even if one quarter of them have a partnership with a cable TV company, that would result in 10 million cable TV internet customers.

There are also millions of apartment units in the United States with an ever-growing number of them bundling Internet and TV into the rent. This adds millions of cable TV subscribers to companies like Spectrum and Comcast.

With only about 50 million subscribers still paying for cable TV, you can see how even 15 million HOA and apartment complex customers can help save what is a struggling business model.

These agreements are so important to cable TV companies that Spectrum even sued an HOA recently when it said they broke their contract.

Unfortunately, if you rent or own a condo, you may have no choice—cable TV and Internet are part of the contract or fees. This helps explain a recent trend of cable TV quiet quitters who still pay for cable TV but don’t use it. Some likely are paying because it’s bundled into their rent or HOA fees.

If these rules go into place, HOAs and apartment complexes who have these deals with cable TV companies will have to let people who live there opt out of cable TV Internet.

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