Press Release

Wiley Rein Files Amicus Brief in Two Supreme Court Telecommunications Cases

March 9, 2011

Wiley Rein on March 8 filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of USTelecom and communications industry network engineers in two Supreme Court cases that will interpret provisions of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and could shape competitive incentives in the telecommunications marketplace for years to come.  In the cases, Talk America Inc. v. Michigan Bell, No. 10-313, and Isiogu v. Michigan Bell, No.10-329, the Court confronts the question whether incumbent local exchange carriers can be forced to build and provide "entrance facilities"  (high-capacity fiber optic transport systems) to competitors at low, regulated (TELRIC) rates.  Because the case may turn on questions of technology and network design, the amici here sought to help the Court understand the underlying factual and practical issues often obscured by the petitioning parties and in the judicial decisions below.  As explained in their brief, "[a] decision that resolves this case based on an imprecise - or worse, incorrect - understanding of the underlying technical issues could have far-reaching, harmful effects on the telecommunications industry and the consumers it serves."

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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

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