Verizon sues Rochester to avoid paying 5G fees, says the FCC has its back
Verizon has sued the City of Rochester (NY) in order to avoid paying fees for deploying 5G equipment and fiber lines. Verizon's lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of New York on Aug 8, claims that the fees are higher than those allowed by federal law. As proof, Verizon points to a Federal Communications Commission preemption order from 2018 that attempts to limit the fees and aesthetic requirements cities and towns impose on carrier deployments. Rochester imposed its new fees in February.
Verizon may have a good chance of winning its lawsuit if that FCC preemption order stands. But the FCC is being sued by cities from Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona, which claim that the preemption is illegal. (Cities from Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New York also intervened in the lawsuit to support the case against the FCC.) The outcome of that case could affect the Verizon suit against Rochester and any similar lawsuits filed against cities in the future. Rochester vowed to fight Verizon's lawsuit and called it "frivolous." The city said that "Other communications providers are complying with the law while building out their networks and paying the necessary fees. These fees are comparable to what other cities required."
Verizon sues city to avoid paying 5G fees, says the FCC has its back