FCC Adopts MTE Declaratory Ruling and NPRM

On July 12, 2019, the Commission released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Declaratory Ruling (“NPRM” and “Ruling”) in the Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments proceeding, which was adopted in the July Open Meeting (GN Docket No. 17-142; MB Docket No. 17-91).

The NPRM and Ruling seeks to encourage facilities-based broadband deployment and competition in Multiple Tenant Environments (“MTEs”) through the following: (1) it seeks comment on additional actions the Commission should take to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks and services within MTEs as well as on industry agreements that may impact broadband competition and deployment; (2) it clarifies that the Commission welcomes state and local efforts to increase access to MTEs consistent with federal policy; and (3) it preempts a San Francisco ordinance to the extent that it requires sharing in-use wiring in MTEs and deters broadband deployment.

There were few changes made to the adopted NPRM from the draft item. Specifically, the Commission clarifies that it seeks comment on ensuring that any new rules adopted apply equally to all competitors in the MTE marketplace and do not create regulatory asymmetry. Additionally, the adopted NPRM seeks comment on whether to take any action with respect to wireless providers to reduce the burden of DAS deployment on building owners, and seeks additional comment on aspects of its legal authority in this proceeding. The adopted Ruling generally remains unchanged.

Comments on the NPRM will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Reply comments on the NPRM will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The Ruling was effective upon its July 12, 2019 release.

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