359 F.3d 554 (D.C. Cir. 2004), 00-1012, United States Telecom Ass'n v. F.C.C.

Docket Nº:00-1012, 00-1015, 00-1025, 01-1075, 01-1102, 01-1103, 03-1310 to 03-1320, 03-1324 to 03-1331, 03-1338, 03-1339, 03-1342, 03-1347, 03-1348, 03-1360, 03-1372, 03-1373, 03-1385, 03-1391, 03-1393, 03-1394, 03-1395, 03-1400, 03-1401, 03-1424 & 03-1442.
Citation:359 F.3d 554
Party Name:UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, Petitioner, v. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION and United States of America, Respondents. Bell Atlantic Telephone Companies, et al., Intervenors.
Case Date:March 02, 2004
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 554

359 F.3d 554 (D.C. Cir. 2004)

UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, Petitioner,

v.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION and United States of America, Respondents.

Bell Atlantic Telephone Companies, et al., Intervenors.

Nos. 00-1012, 00-1015, 00-1025, 01-1075, 01-1102, 01-1103, 03-1310 to 03-1320, 03-1324 to 03-1331, 03-1338, 03-1339, 03-1342, 03-1347, 03-1348, 03-1360, 03-1372, 03-1373, 03-1385, 03-1391, 03-1393, 03-1394, 03-1395, 03-1400, 03-1401, 03-1424 & 03-1442.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

March 2, 2004

Argued Jan. 28, 2004.

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On Petitions for Writ of Mandamus and for Review of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael K. Kellogg argued the cause for ILEC petitioners. With him on the briefs were Mark L. Evans, Sean A. Lev, Colin S. Stretch, Michael T. McMenamin, James D. Ellis, Paul K. Mancini, Joseph E. Cosgrove, Jr., Gary L. Phillips, James P. Lamoureux, Robert B. McKenna, Charles R. Morgan, James G. Harralson, William P. Barr, Michael E. Glover, and Edward Shakin. Donna M. Epps, Daniel L. Poole, John H. Harwood II, William R. Richardson,

Page 559

Jr., and Matthew R. Sutherland entered appearances.

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. and Christopher J. Wright argued the cause for CLEC petitioners. With them on the briefs were Mark D. Schneider, Marc A. Goldman, Michael B. DeSanctis, William Single IV, Jeffrey A. Rackow, David W. Carpenter, David L. Lawson, C. Frederick Beckner III, Andrew D. Lipman, Russell M. Blau, Richard M. Rindler, Patrick J. Donovan, Harisha J. Bastiampillai, Dennis D. Ahlers, Steven A. Augustino, Albert H. Kramer, Jonathan E. Canis, Robert J. Aamoth, Carl S. Nadler, Adelia S. Borrasca, Jason D. Oxman, Timothy J. Simeone, Charles C. Hunter, Catherine M. Hannan, Genevieve Morelli, Glenn B. Manishin, Jonathan E. Canis, Teresa K. Gaugler, Jonathan Jacob Nadler, and Jonathan D. Lee. Jennifer M. Kashatus, Paul J. Rebey, Eric J. Branfman, Joshua M. Bobeck, and Angela M. Simpson entered appearances.

James Bradford Ramsay argued the cause for State petitioners. With him on the briefs were Grace Delos Reyes, Jonathan Feinberg, John L. Favreau, John C. Graham, Helen M. Mickiewicz, Gretchen T. Dumas, Maryanne Reynolds Martin, Christopher C. Kempley, Maureen A. Scott, Michael A. Cox, Attorney General, Attorney General's Office of the State of Michigan, Thomas L. Casey, Solicitor General, and David A. Voges and Michael Nickerson, Assistant Attorney Generals.

David C. Bergmann, Irwin A. Popowsky, Philip F. McClelland, Patricia A. Smith, Billy Jack Gregg, and F. Anne Ross were on the briefs for petitioner National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

John E. Ingle, Deputy Associate General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, and James M. Carr, Counsel, argued the cause for respondents. With them on the brief were R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Catherine G. O'Sullivan and Nancy C. Garrison, Attorneys, John A. Rogovin, General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, and Laurence N. Bourne, Joel Marcus and Christopher L. Killion, Counsel. Andrea Limmer, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, and Lisa S. Gelb, Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, entered appearances.

Michael K. Kellogg argued the cause for ILEC intervenors and Catena Networks, Inc. in support of respondents. With him on the brief were Mark L. Evans, Aaron M. Panner, Michael T. McMenamin, James D. Ellis, Paul K. Mancini, Joseph E. Cosgrove, Jr., Gary L. Phillips, James P. Lamoureux, Robert B. McKenna, Charles R. Morgan, James G. Harralson, William P. Barr, Michael E. Glover, Edward Shakin, and Stephen L. Goodman. Alfred G. Richter, Hope E. Thurrott, Lawrence E. Sarjeant, and Jonathan E. Canis entered appearances.

David W. Carpenter argued the cause for CLEC intervenors in support of respondents. With him on the brief were Donald B. Verilli, Jr., Mark D. Schneider, Marc A. Goldman, Michael B. DeSanctis, William Single IV, Jeffrey A. Rackow, David L. Lawson, C. Frederick Beckner III, Teresa K. Gaugler, Charles C. Hunter, Catherine M. Hannan, Andrew D. Lipman, Russell M. Blau, Richard M. Rindler, Patrick J. Donovan, Harisha J. Bastiampillai, Albert H. Kramer, Jonathan D. Lee, Carl S. Nadler, Adelia S. Borrasca, Janson D. Oxman, Robert J. Aamoth, Genevieve Morelli, John T. Nakahata, Sara F. Leibman, John J. Heitmann, Jennifer M. Kashatus, Christopher J. Wright, and Timothy J. Simeone. Roy E. Hoffinger, Charles J.

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Cooper, Hamish P. Hume, and Richard J. Metzger entered appearances.

Jonathan Feinberg, John L. Favreau, John C. Graham, Helen M. Mickiewicz, Gretchen T. Dumas, Maryanne Reynolds Martin, Christopher C. Kempley, Maureen A. Scott, Michael A. Cox, Attorney General, Attorney General's Office of the State of Michigan, Thomas L. Casey, Solicitor General, David A. Voges and Michael Nickerson, Assistant Attorney Generals, James Bradford Ramsay, and Grace Delos Reyes were on the brief for State intervenors in support of respondents.

Laura H. Phillips, Douglas G. Bonner, Michael F. McBride, Thomas J. Sugrue, Howard J. Symons, Sara F. Leibman, and Douglas I. Brandon were on the brief of Wireless intervenors in support of respondent. Brian A. Coleman entered an appearance.

Before: EDWARDS and RANDOLPH, Circuit Judges, and WILLIAMS, Senior Circuit Judge.

OPINION

Table of Contents

I. Legal Background ........................................................................................................ 561

II. ILEC Objections ......................................................................................................... 564

A. Unbundling of Mass Market Switches .................................................................... 564

1. Subdelegation of § 251(d)(2) impairment determinations to

state commissions ............................................................................................ 565

2. Impairment in provision of mass market switching .............................................. 568

3. The Commission's definition of "impairment" ...................................................... 571

B. Unbundling of High"Capacity Dedicated Transport Facilities .................................... 573

1. Unlawfulness of the delegation to the states and the

national impairment finding ............................................................................... 573

2. Remaining dedicated transport issues ................................................................ 574

a. Route-specific analysis of dedicated transport .......................................... 574

b. Wireless providers' access to unbundled dedicated

transport ............................................................................................... 575

C. Network Modification Requirements ................................................................... 577

III. CLEC Objections ................................................................................................... 578

A. Unbundling of Broadband Loops ........................................................................ 578

1. Hybrid loops ................................................................................................ 578

2. Fiber-to-the-home ("FTTH") loops ............................................................... 583

3. Line sharing .................................................................................................. 584

B. Exclusion of "Entrance Facilities" .......................................................................... 585

C. Unbundling of Enterprise Switches ....................................................................... 586

D. Unbundling of Call"Related Databases and Signaling Systems ............................... 587

E. Unbundling of Shared Transport Facilities ............................................................. 588

F. Section 271 Pricing and Combination Rules .......................................................... 588

IV. Unbundling of Enhanced Extended Links ("EELs")...................................................... 590

A. The Qualifying Service/Non"Qualifying Service Distinction ..................................... 591

B. The EEL Eligibility Criteria .................................................................................... 591

V. Miscellaneous ............................................................................................................ 593

A. NASUCA's Standing ............................................................................................ 593

B. Ripeness of the State Preemption Claims ............................................................... 594

VI. Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 594

Page 561

WILLIAMS, Senior Circuit Judge:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub.L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. (the "Act"), sought to foster a competitive market in telecommunications. To enable new firms to enter the field despite the advantages of the incumbent local exchange carriers ("ILECs"), the Act gave the Federal Communications Commission broad powers to require ILECs to make "network elements" available to other telecommunications carriers, id. §§ 251(c)(3),(d), most importantly the competitive local exchange carriers ("CLECs"). The most obvious candidates for such obligatory provision were the copper wire loops historically used to carry telephone service over the "last mile" into users' homes. But Congress left to the Commission the choice of elements to be "unbundled," specifying that in doing so it was to

consider, at a minimum, whether ... the failure to provide access to such...

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