March 15, 2012 4th Circuit published opinion

New Cingular Wireless PC, LLC v Finley

Rural North Carolina local telephone companies and national wireless companies negotiated agreements under the 1996 telecommunications Act. They were unable to agree on how many points of interconnectivity should exist between their networks and what compensation regime should apply for traffic over third party networks. The parties arbitrated these issues before the North Carolina utilities Commission. The commission entered an order mandating one point of intersection and ordering the wireless companies to pay the fees for use beyond the point of intersection with the possibility of reciprocal payment later form the local carriers. The district court affirmed the order. The panel also affirmed noting the statute, rules and orders implementing the Act were silent on the issues involved. It found the Commission properly exercised its discretion in issuing the order.

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