Thursday, August 11, 2016

The FCC Gets Throttled . The Sixth Circuit shuts down a power play over municipal broadband.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
While the Obama Administration is speeding up its rule by fiat, the judiciary is sometimes standing up to it. On Wednesday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals throttled the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to pre-empt state laws regulating municipal broadband.

Last year the FCC overruled state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that restricted municipal broadband networks in Wilson and Chattanooga from expanding to neighboring jurisdictions. About 20 states impose limits on municipal broadband, not least because public utilities can discourage private competition and cost taxpayers a bundle.

The Supreme Court in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League (2004) rejected federal pre-emption of a state ban on municipal telecom services, so FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tried an end run. The agency claimed authority under Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which instructs the commission and states to “encourage the deployment” of advanced telecommunications and to “promote competition in the local telecommunications market.”
The Obama regime loses one.