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Petitions for Preemption of State Restrictions on Broadband Deployment

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Released: July 28, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


TTY: 1-888-835-5322

445 12th St., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20554

DA 14-1072

Released: July 28, 2014





WCB Docket Nos. 14-115 and 14-116

Comment Date: August 29, 2014

Reply Comment Date: September 29, 2014

On July 24, 2014, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the City of Wilson,

North Carolina (collectively, Petitioners), filed separate petitions asking that the Commission act pursuant

to section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 19961 to preempt portions of Tennessee and North

Carolina state statutes that restrict their ability to provide broadband services. 2

The Electric Power Board is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga that provides

electric and broadband service in the Chattanooga area.3

The City of Wilson provides electric service in

six counties in eastern North Carolina and broadband service in Wilson County. 4

Both Petitioners allege

that state laws restrict their ability to expand their broadband service offerings to surrounding areas where

customers have expressed interest in these services, and they request that the Commission preempt such

laws. 5

Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419,

interested parties may file comments on or before August 29, 2014 and reply comments on or before

1 Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, § 706, 110 Stat. 56, 153 (1996), as

amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, Pub. L. No. 110-385, 122 Stat. 4096 (2008), is now codified in

Title 47, Chapter 12 of the United States Code, at 47 U.S.C. § 1302.

2 See Petition Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for Removal of State Barriers to

Broadband Investment and Competition, filed by Electric Power Board, Chattanooga, Tennessee, WC Docket No.

14-116 (filed July 24, 2014) (EPB Petition); Petition Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of

1996 for Removal of State Barriers to Broadband Investment and Competition, filed by City of Wilson, North

Carolina, WC Docket No. 14-115 (filed July 24, 2014) (Wilson Petition).

3 EPB Petition at 16, 20.

4 Wilson Petition at 2.

5 Id. at 1-2; EPB Petition at 1-2.


September 29, 2014, as indicated above. Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic

Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR

24121 (1998).

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the


Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each

filing. Because more than one docket number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers

must submit two additional copies for the additional docket number. Parties are strongly

encouraged to file comments electronically using the Commission’s ECFS.

Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-

class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary,

Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary

must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,

Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries

must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be

disposed of before entering the building.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority

Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th

Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.

People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities

(braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in

accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.6 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a

copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two

business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies).

Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation

must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte

presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the

presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments

already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the

presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or

other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be

found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission

staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed

consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has

made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing

6 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.



oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment

filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt,

searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex

parte rules.

For further information regarding this proceeding, contact Claudia Pabo or Matt Warner of the

Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-1595 or (202) 418-2419.

- FCC -


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