TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Aug 10, 2016

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed an FCC order that would have allowed Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board to expand its gigabyte broadband internet service into rural counties outside its defined legal service boundaries. Neighboring rural counties without access to broadband had asked the board to expand its reach but state law prevented it from doing so. In 2015, the FCC issued an order preempting state law saying the expansion would further the purposes of federal telecommunications law. The appellate ruling overturns that order, saying it infringes on a “state’s right to determine the boundaries of its political subdivisions.” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III praised the decision saying it preserves the state’s right to set boundaries and market areas. The Nashville Post has more on the decision.