Federal Court Rules against AT&T in Interconnection Appeal | Tele-Tech Services Blog

Federal Court Rules against AT&T in Interconnection Appeal

Monday, April 8, 2013

A federal appeals court has ruled that states can apply Section 251(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to resolve interconnection disputes between incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and competitive carriers.

The case involved an arbitration decision by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which ordered AT&T to establish points of interconnection with Intrado Communications’ network.

Intrado, a 9-1-1 services provider, used Section 251(c) of the Act to justify interconnection with the incumbent. Ohio’s utility commission agreed; but AT&T argued for a rehearing on the basis that the commission had inappropriately applied provisions of Section 251(a) when Intrado had petitioned for interconnection based on Section 251(c).

Telecom law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on its blog provides a more detailed look at the decision and offers some implications of the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District.

We previously discussed in our April newsletter why the industry is struggling to resolve the interconnection dilemma. It appears the courts could set some precedents long before the FCC steps in as referee between ILECs and its smaller competitors.

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