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Forced Entry: Unnecessary, Unconstitutional and Unsound Public Policy, CAI Tells FCC

10/4/1999  -  Alexandria, VA

Forced entry proposals that would allow telecommunications providers to install equipment, wiring and facilities at will within any property are unnecessary, unconstitutional and unsound public policy, according to the Community Associations Institute. CAI filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission September 27 on behalf of condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations. The FCC is examining forced entry and other issues as part of a proceeding on the competitive networks in local telecommunications markets.

"Forced entry policies would cause irreparable harm to community associations and their residents since associations would lose their right to manage the installation of telecommunications equipment on association property," said Marvin J. Nodiff, Esq., chair of CAI's Government & Public Affairs Council. "The FCC should reject the forced entry policies under consideration and permit the telecommunications marketplace to expand unhindered by government regulation."

Besides violating the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, such policies would burden associations with increased damage, security risks and litigation, according to CAI's comments. Forced entry would also unfairly allow existing providers to lock out future competitive options for community associations and their residents.

Responding to provider assertions that community associations refuse access, CAI noted that most forced entry proponents are not offering services to community associations or other residential customers. It is misleading and irresponsible for providers to assert that community associations refuse them access when they either have not requested access or have refused to serve associations, CAI wrote.

CAI's filing also opposed prohibitions or limitations on exclusive contracts and expansion of the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) Rule to include additional types of antennas. CAI supported the extension of cable inside wiring rules to include all telecommunications providers and the development of uniform demarcation point rules. The National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) and the Cooperative Housing Coalition (CHC) joined in CAI's latest filing as well as an earlier forced entry submission in August.

CAI's FCC filing is available in the Government & Public Affairs section of CAI's Web site.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235