AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law

Source: 
Author: 

AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee. In 2016, the Nashville Metro Council passed a "One Touch Make Ready" rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires. AT&T and Comcast sued the metro government in US District Court in Nashville, claiming that federal and local laws preempt the One Touch Make Ready rule. Judge Victoria Roberts agreed with AT&T and Comcast. The case centered on two sets of utility poles: those owned by AT&T and those owned by the municipal Nashville Electric Service (NES). The Nashville ordinance is preempted by federal law when it comes to poles owned by AT&T and other private parties, the judge ruled. The Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction to regulate pole attachments for privately owned poles except when states opt out of the federal regime. "Tennessee has not opted out of FCC jurisdiction over pole attachments," Judge Roberts wrote.


AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law