Monday, June 19, 2006

Appeals Court Upholds TRRO

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has unanimously affirmed all of the FCC's rules in all respects to the organization's Triennal Review Remand Order (TRRO), in it's opinion in case Covad vs. FCC. [Great read purely for the history]. The TRRO established phone network unbundling rules that provide competitive carriers with access to local network facilities that cannot be duplicated.

"This case involves a series of petitions for review of the FCC’s fourth attempt. Because we conclude the Commission’s fourth try is a charm, we deny all of the petitions for review."

Specifically, the Commission found that CLECs are not impaired without DS1 loops within the service area of a wire center that has at least four fiber-based collocators and at least 60,000 business lines. Similarly, CLECs are not impaired without access to DS3 loops within the service area of a wire center containing at least four fiber-based collocators and at least 38,000 business lines. Id. at 2614.

Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984): If Congress "has directly spoken to the precise question at issue, we "must give effect to [its] unambiguously expressed intent"; on the other hand, "if the statute is silent or ambiguous," we must defer to the Commission’s interpretation so long as it is "based on a permissible construction of the statute."

Ultimately, if the Commission’s reading of the statute is reasonable, Chevron requires us "to accept the agency’s construction of the statute, even if the agency’s reading differs from what the court believes is the best statutory interpretation." Nat’l Cable & Telecomms. Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Servs., 125 S. Ct. 2688, 2699 (2005).

BTW, the original Triennial Review was done in 2003. Almost time for a new one.

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