New Cingular Wireless PCS v. Finley, Jr., No. 10-2221

Decided Mar. 14, 2012

Plaintiffs provide commercial mobile radio service in North Carolina (CMRS providers). Defendant Local Exchange Carriers (RLECs) provide telephone service in rural areas of North Carolina. The remaining defendants are the Commissioners of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). The RLECs formally requested interconnection with the CMRS Providers. The parties were unable to reach agreement on certain issues. The RLECs filed petitions for arbitration with the NCUC. The NCUC issued a Recommended Arbitration Order in 2007. The parties filed objections, and the NCUC issued a final Order Ruling on Objections and Requiring the Filing of Composite Agreements in 2008. The parties filed conforming interconnection agreements in February 2009, which were approved by the NCUC the same month. In March 2009, the CMRS Providers filed a complaint against the RLECs and the Commissioners of the NCUC in their official capacities seeking review of several determinations made by the NCUC and ultimately the NCUC’s approval of portions of the interconnection agreements. All parties moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the CMRS Providers’ motion for summary judgment and granted the RLECs’ and the NCUC’s motions for summary judgment. The CMRS Providers appealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

Full Opinion

-Sara I. Salehi

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