National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., Inc. v. Gulf Power Co., 534 U.S. 327, 4 (2002)

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Opinion of the Court

Electric Power Service Corp. et al. were Shirley S. Fuji-moto, Christine M. Gill, J. Russell Campbell, Andrew W. Tunnell, and Ralph A. Peterson. Robert P. Williams II and Charles A. Zdebski filed a brief for respondents Atlantic City Electric Co. et al. in both cases. Jonathan L. Wiener and Neil Anderson filed a brief for respondent TXU Electric Co. in both cases. Jean G. Howard filed a brief for Florida Power & Light Co., respondent in No. 00-843.†

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.


Since the inception of cable television, cable companies have sought the means to run a wire into the home of each subscriber. They have found it convenient, and often essential, to lease space for their cables on telephone and electric utility poles. Utilities, in turn, have found it convenient to charge monopoly rents.

Congress first addressed these transactions in 1978, by enacting the Pole Attachments Act, 92 Stat. 35, as amended, 47 U. S. C. 224 (1994 ed.), which requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "regulate the rates,

†Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the Association for Local Telecommunications Services et al. by Philip L. Verveer, Theodore Case Whitehouse, Joseph M. Sandri, Jr., Howard J. Symons, and Douglas I. Brandon; and for the United States Telecom Association et al. by William P. Barr, Michael E. Glover, Edward Shakin, Richard G. Taranto, and John W. Hunter.

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for Real Access Alliance by William Malone, Matthew C. Ames, and Clarine Nardi Riddle; for the Site Owners and Managers Alliance of the Personal Communications Industry Association by Dennis P. Corbett and H. Anthony Lehv; and for the United Telecom Council et al. by Jill Mace Lyon and Edward Comer.

Briefs of amici curiae were filed for the Consumers Union et al. by Cheryl A. Leanza, Andrew Jay Schwartzman, and Harold J. Feld; and for Earthlink, Inc., by John W. Butler, Earl W. Comstock, and David Baker.

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