Justia Utilities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michigan Bell Tel. Co. v. Covad Commc’n Co.
The court's February 2010 decision was reversed by the United States Supreme Court, the Court, which held that the incumbent local exchange carrier, Michigan Bell, must lease its existing entrance facilities for interconnection at cost-based rates, Talk Am., Inc. v. Mich. Bell Tel. Co., 131 S. Ct. 2254, (2011). In response, the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court and remanded.View "Michigan Bell Tel. Co. v. Covad Commc'n Co." on Justia Law
Mediacom SE LLC v. Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc.
In 2009, AT&T sought to introduce a video service in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, relying on authority provided by its perpetual, Commonwealth-wide, telephone franchise granted in 1886. The city sued, claiming the telephone franchise did not allow AT&T to offer such services over its telephone wires. After Hopkinsville and AT&T settled, Mediacom, an incumbent cable provider in Hopkinsville, intervened and asserted that AT&T was required under the Kentucky Constitution and local law to obtain a new cable franchise. The district court dismissed. The Sixth Circuit reversed. Before resolving the legal question, the district court must determine whether the video service is more analogous to a one-way television service, or a two-way telephone service. View "Mediacom SE LLC v. Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc." on Justia Law
Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc. v. KY Pub. Serv. Comm’n
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires incumbent local exchange carriers to lease to new competitive LECs, unbundled, at cost, facilities and services (elements) that the FCC deems necessary to provide local telephone service, 47 U.S.C. 251(c)(3), (d)(2). Section 271 requires "Bell operating" companies that seek to provide long-distance service, such as AT&T, to make available a competitive checklist of services to facilitate competition in the local phone service market. In response to regulatory developments, Kentucky competitive LECs asked the state commission to require AT&T to continue de-listed elements. The commission agreed. A district court enjoined enforcement and ordered the commission to calculate the amount a competitive LEC owed AT&T for services obtained at the unlawfully imposed rate. The commission issued another order requiring AT&T to provide de-listed elements at a regulated rate. The court entered another injunction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, upholding conclusions that the commission may not require continued unbundling of de-listed elements; that FCC regulations do not require AT&T to provide to competitive LECs equipment known as a line splitter; and that FCC regulations do not require AT&T to provide unbundled access to high-speed fiber-optic loops in new service areas. LECs, upon request, must package unbundled network elements provided under section 251 with elements mandated only by section 271View "Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc. v. KY Pub. Serv. Comm'n" on Justia Law
Ross Cnty. Water Co., Inc v. City of Chillicothe
Plaintiff is a non-profit, member-owned, water company serving rural areas of Ross County, Ohio. To finance its system, plaintiff borrowed nearly $10.6 million from the USDA. The disputed area of the county includes properties served by the city and properties served by plaintiff. Each has objected to the other's extension of new lines to the area. The district court granted plaintiff summary judgment, finding that the company is protected under the Agriculture Act, 7 U.S.C. 1926(b)(2), based on its obligations under the USDA contract, had a legal right to serve the area under a contract with the county, and did not have unclean hands. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.View "Ross Cnty. Water Co., Inc v. City of Chillicothe" on Justia Law