The 2024 Broadband Communities Summit, held from May 6-8, featured significant discussions about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its recent involvement in bulk-managed WiFi. This topic has sparked considerable debate, especially following FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s proposal to ban bulk billing arrangements for broadband services in multifamily housing units. While we did not learn anything new outside of the deeper explanation of the FCC proposal, I will offer a recap of statements from NMHC and other experts in our space on what this can mean for the industry depending on the FCC’s final ruling.

During the conference, industry experts and stakeholders, including representatives from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), voiced significant concerns about the potential impact of this proposal. They underscored that bulk billing arrangements often provide cost-effective and reliable broadband access to residents in apartments, condos, and other multi-tenant buildings. These arrangements allow property owners to negotiate lower rates with service providers, which can be especially beneficial for residents in rural or low-income areas​.

The FCC’s proposal aims to increase consumer choice and lower costs by preventing mandatory bulk billing, thereby allowing residents to choose their preferred broadband provider. However, opponents argue that this move could lead to higher costs and reduced broadband access for many residents, potentially widening the digital divide​.

The NMHC has been actively advocating for a more cautious approach, emphasizing the pro-consumer benefits of bulk billing and managed WiFi solutions. They have engaged with policymakers, conducted member surveys, and compiled case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of these arrangements in providing affordable broadband services to diverse communities. Their efforts are aimed at ensuring that the future landscape of broadband services in multi-tenant environments is shaped in a way that benefits all stakeholders.


Overall, the conference underscored the need for balanced regulatory actions that consider both consumer choice and the practical benefits of bulk-managed WiFi solutions in ensuring widespread and affordable broadband access. The FCC’s final decision on this matter will be crucial in shaping the future landscape of broadband services in multi-tenant environments​.