Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

FCC prevails in 6 GHz court challenge led by AT&T

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the Federal Communications Commission in its decision to designate a large swath of the 6 GHz band to unlicensed users, including Wi-Fi. AT&T had challenged the FCC’s decision, saying it posed potential interference with existing fixed microwave users. “Petitioners have failed to provide a basis for questioning the Commission’s conclusion that the Order will protect against a significant risk of harmful interference,” the court wrote in its December 28 decision.

Iowa Utilities Board is sued over $23 million decision on LTD Broadband

A lawsuit filed by a major provider of broadband services alleges that a recent decision by the Iowa Utilities Board has prevented it from participating in the rollout of a $23 million expansion of broadband service for rural Iowans. LTD Broadband, a Las Vegas-based company with roughly 150 employees, owns and operates more than 2,500 communications towers in Iowa and six other states, and is suing the Iowa Utilities Board over the alleged delays.

Public Knowledge and Benton Institute Urge Court to Uphold New York’s Affordable Broadband Act

Public Knowledge, joined by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, filed an amici curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is reviewing a New York law to make broadband internet more affordable.

Federal judge blocks Texas law that would have opened doors for right-wing lawsuits against social media

Federal Judge Robert Pitman blocked a Texas law (HB 20) that would allow any state resident banned from a social media platform for their 

FCC defends Starlink approval as Viasat and Dish urge court to block SpaceX license

The Federal Communications Commission urged a court to back the agency's approval of SpaceX Starlink satellite launches against a lawsuit filed by Viasat and Dish. Judges at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit previously rejected Viasat's motion for a stay that would have halted SpaceX's ongoing launches of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites pending the resolution of the lawsuit.

‘Squid Game’ hit raises stakes for Netflix in broadband battle

SK Broadband, wholly owned by South Korea’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom, thinks Netflix should pay a congestion charge for hit shows like the streaming service's recently released "Squid Game." The company says the traffic that Netflix generates on its network has surged to 1.2tn bits of data processed per second as of September 2021, the month of Squid Game’s release, a 24-fold increase over three years. It has had to upgrade its network twice to accommodate the traffic surge caused by the show.

FCC Defends Decision to Free Vehicle-to-Vehicle Spectrum for WiFi

The Federal Communications Commission, backed by the Department of Justice, told the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that it was reasonable for the FCC to reclaim a swath of 5.9 GHz licensed vehicular communications spectrum for unlicensed WiFi and it had the authority to do so.

$20 million lawsuit claims Altice reneged on its Keep Americans Connected pledge

The owner of a New York City barbershop has filed a $20 million class-action lawsuit against Altice, claiming that Altice reneged on its Keep Americans Connected pledge during the pandemic. Artem Shalomayev, owner of 3715 Barber Shop in the Bronx, is suing on behalf of potentially thousands of other similarly-situated small business owners, according to the plaintiff's lawyer Jon Norinsberg.

South Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge

South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband (SK) has sued Netflix to pay for costs from increased network traffic and maintenance work because of a surge of viewers.

T-Mobile and Dish take CDMA network showdown to California Public Utilities Commission

To get an idea of how the Dish/T-Mobile case went in front of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), this one bit of testimony might shed some light: They literally started to shut off the lights in the building before all was said and done. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if the CPUC should penalize T-Mobile for lying to the Commission about its obligations in the merger with Sprint. The CPUC approved the transaction in April 2020 with conditions.