Court Rejects FCC on Muni Ruling


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit has refused to hear further
argument by the Federal Communications Commission to justify its decision
supporting a Missouri state ban on municipally owned telecommunications.

The appeals panel ruled in August that the FCC used a Cable Act definition
that was too narrow when it upheld a 2001 law made by the Missouri General
Assembly. That law prevents cities and counties from applying for the required
certificate of necessity to become a telecommunications provider.

The appeals panel told the FCC to revisit the issue, but attorneys for the
agency asked for an en banc hearing, in which all of the judges in the Eighth
Circuit would rehear the case.

The court refused that in a ruling Oct. 22, and it also declined to have the
original three-judge panel review its order.