Press Release

Cooley Files Amicus Brief in Second Circuit in Interstate Communications Services Regulation Case

March 10, 2022

New York – March 10, 2022 – Cooley filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), a trade association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the country, in New York State Telecommunications Association, Inc. et al. v. James. The brief urges the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to uphold a lower court’s permanent injunction barring enforcement of New York’s Affordable Broadband Act (ABA), which regulates the rates, terms and conditions of internet service providers’ broadband internet access service offerings to the public. Partners David E. Mills and Robert McDowell are leading the Cooley team representing the CCA.

In the brief, the CCA argues that provisions of the ABA constitute direct rate regulation of interstate communications services, a power delegated by Congress exclusively to the Federal Communications Commission. Congress, the FCC and courts across the US have consistently recognized that broadband internet access service is inherently an interstate communications service for regulatory purposes. Allowing the ABA to take effect would unlawfully interfere with the FCC’s authority to regulate these services, and would be particularly detrimental to smaller, rural carriers.

“We are pleased to file this amicus brief for CCA, which advocates that New York and other states have no authority to regulate broadband internet access services as a matter of law,” said McDowell, co-chair of Cooley’s global communications practice group.

For 90+ years, Cooley has supported the communications industry in bringing innovative technologies to market and navigating an evolving regulatory environment. The firm regularly represents a wide variety of communications companies, including broadcasters, satellite ventures, mobile wireless carriers and technology companies, in groundbreaking transactions, transformational regulatory and policy developments, and complex litigation.

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