Monday, June 23, 2003

Supreme Court grants certiorari in municipal telecom case from Missouri

As reported here by the AP, today the Supreme Court granted cert in the Missouri Municipals case, in which the Eighth Circuit joined Judge Jones of the W.D. Va., in this opinion, and others, in the conclusion that local governments are within the phrase "any entity" against which states may not under the Telecommunications Act provide barriers to entry into the business of providing telecommunications. The D.C. Circuit took a different view in an earlier case. Jim Baller is one of the counsel for the local government side.

In Southwest Virginia, the City of Bristol, the Town of Abingdon, Dickenson County, and Lenowisco Planning District Commission are among the local government bodies that are providing, have provided, or will provide telecommunications services. Other communities like Bedford, Manassas, Lynchburg, and Blacksburg have fiber networks that involved some combination of public and private efforts.

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