Federal regulators plan to throw out exclusive cable
television service contracts with apartment buildings and open up competition
to phone companies, according to a published report. Under FCC Chairman Kevin
Martin's proposal, cable companies, such as Comcast and Time Warner would no
longer have exclusive deals
with apartment buildings and other multiunit
dwellings to provide cable TV to building residents, who usually have no other
choice for such services.


Bottom Line: This
is excellent news for consumers, who are often faced with higher prices and
poorer service in buildings with exclusive contracts. Data providers know that
moving an entire apartment is much more difficult than simply switching
providers in a competitive environment, and service priorities are allocated
accordingly. This is particularly good news for minority groups, which
disproportionately represent a larger share of apartment dwellers than

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