Local governments ask court to stop FCC ruling on video franchising

Several local government and nonprofit organizations have asked a federal appeals court to block, pending judicial review, implementation of the recent video franchising order adopted by the FCC.

If the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals does not stop the order, it could go into effect in the next several weeks. The organizations argue that the FCC’s order will severely restrict the ability of local governments to protect their citizens, rights-of-way, community channels and public safety networks.

The request for a court stay is in the public interest because, the groups said, without it, “local franchising authorities will be forced to rush franchising decisions without being given an opportunity to ensure the interests of the public, including safety concerns,” they said.

The groups said Congress has long established that local franchising authorities have the right to negotiate franchise agreements that meet the communities’ needs and interests because they contain provisions for community resources, including public, educational and government access channel capacity, programming support and access to the services by schools, libraries, police and fire departments throughout our communities.

The organizations filing the suit included the National League of Cities, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the United States Conference of Mayors and the Alliance for Communications Democracy.