Local government associations challenge FCC ruling
A coalition of local government associations has appealed to federal courts to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent order on local cable franchise rules. The FCC order curbs local authority to regulate new applicants for cable franchises, placing time limits on negotiations and prohibiting locals from imposing unreasonable build-out requirements.
The coalition, which includes the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties, filed petitions in the Third, Fourth and Sixth Circuit Federal Courts on April 3 challenging the order. The petitions state that the FCC is exceeding its authority by issuing the order, and the order “violates both the Communications Act and Administrative Procedure Act’s public notice requirements.” While local governments want competition for cable franchises, the coalition says in a press release, the FCC order ignores local interests and provides an unfair advantage to some large telecommunications companies that are trying to enter the cable market.