Articles Posted in Communications Law

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According to the plain language of Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-712.05(3), public records useful to an energy policy debate must be released despite an advantage flowing to a competitor. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) refused a public records request from potential competitors for documents showing cost and revenue information for each of its generation units. NPPD maintained that the requested documents fell within the exemption contained in section 84-712.05(3), which exempts from disclosure “proprietary or commercial information which if released would give advantage to business competitors and serve no public purpose.” The competitors sought a writ of mandamus to compel disclosure. The district court declined to issue a writ, concluding that the information sought was proprietary or commercial to NPPD and that, if released publicly, would give advantage to NPPD’s competitors. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, construing the exemption at issue narrowly, NPPD failed to demonstrate by clear and conclusive evidence that the information sought would serve no public purpose. View "Aksamit Resource Management v. Nebraska Public Power District" on Justia Law

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Telrite Corporation was designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier and a Nebraska eligible telecommunications carrier by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC). The designation allowed Telrite to participate in the “Lifeline” program and receive subsidies from federal and state funds for the provision of telecommunications service to low-income households. Soon after receiving its designations, Telrite held its first enrollment event in Omaha. Telrite, however, used the wrong enrollment form at the event. Consequently, the PSC revoked Telrite’s ETC designation and ordered Telrite to cease and desist from offering services as a Lifeline provider in Nebraska. The Supreme Court reversed the order, holding that the penalty ordered by the PSC was excessive. Remanded. View "Telrite Corp. v. Neb. Pub. Serv. Comm’n" on Justia Law

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This case involved a dispute between AT&T Communications and TCG Omaha (collectively AT&T) and the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the correct interpretation of Neb. Rev. Stat. 86-140, which governs the regulation of access charges. In its order, the PSC determined that telecommunications companies like AT&T could seek the negotiation and review of access charges under section 86-140 only when a local exchange carrier had implemented new or revised access charges, and not "at will." The district court reversed in part and in part modified the decision of the PSC. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court placing certain limitations on the section 86-140 negotiation and review process, holding that the plain language of the statute envisions both a negotiation and review process that are not limited by the statute. Remanded. View "AT&T Commc'ns v. Neb. Pub. Serv. Comm'n" on Justia Law