Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Ninth Circuit says F.C.C. wrong on classification of cable modem service

I've read the opinion, actually the three opinions (here), read the articles in the NY Times and the Washington Post and USA Today and the AP, and I have no idea what is the meaning or significance of the 9th Circuit's ruling in the cable modem case, other than that the Court did not agree entirely with the F.C.C.'s determination about what cable modem service is and is not, which could or could not have some implication as to whether cable system owners could be required to share their cable networks with other service providers. Most of the opinions have to do with the law of stare decisis, as much as anything else, so I guess if I had any sense I would read the 9th Circuit's earlier opinion in the Portland cable modem case.

At one time, there was some interest in at least one Southwest Virginia county in trying to force the cable franchise holder as a condition of the renewal to allow open access to its cable network, and I thought the idea was scrapped after some court in the Portland case ruled against such a requirement, but maybe I've got all this backwards in my mind.

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