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Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK) of counsel and telecommunications attorney, Cheryl Leanza was quoted in a Telecommunications Report Daily article published October 13, 2023. The article addresses the interest from local governments requesting that the FCC implement a 2021 federal appeals court ruling that non-cash or “in-kind” payments that cable TV franchisees count as part of a 5% cap is marginal. 

Cheryl Leanza, representing the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors along with a coalition of communities, joined by representatives of the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Counties, also urged the FCC to “clarify that local governments should be required to pay the marginal cost of only its own use of institutional data networks and not be required to pay for cable system deployment to serve small businesses and other nonresidential consumers that use institutional networks.”

They asked that the FCC “[r]epeal the mixed use rule, because the Sixth Circuit [in City of Eugene, Oregon v. FCC (TR Daily, May 26, 2021)] found it does not correctly state the law. In the most obvious example, on its face, it incorrectly prohibits, in any state where the state operates as a franchising authority, state regulation of intra-state telecommunications services offered by cable operators.”

“The associations also urged the Commission to take a more collaborative approach with local government with regard to wireless facility placement, although there are few open dockets on this matter presently. They noted that the national BEAD process revealed that states with more aggressive preemption of local authority had not deployed more wireless or broadband infrastructure more quickly,” according to the ex parte notice filed by the localities yesterday and posted on the FCC’s electronic comment filing system today. —Lynn Stanton,

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Cheryl Leanza

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