Regulators out to impose on consumer rights

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By The Staff

For many years, consumers living in apartments and condos have been enjoying the benefits of multichannel television service provided through freely negotiated service agreements between the television service providers (multichannel video programming distributors – or MVPDs – like cable TV and private cable companies) and the owners or managers of the apartments and condos where they live (multi-dwelling units or MDUs).

These agreements can allow cable TV companies to provide additional benefits and, in many cases, significant discounts to residents who subscribe to the service.

Now, however, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be on the verge of outlawing these freely negotiated contracts – not only future contracts, but every such agreement that now exists in the country.

Most legal observers believe that the FCC lacks the legal authority to issue such regulations. However, should the FCC proceed to act, it will hurt consumers, interfere with traditional private contract rights and infringe on the traditional rights of the states to govern such agreements.

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