National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., Inc. v. Gulf Power Co., 534 U.S. 327, 10 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  Next



Opinion of the Court

Here, however, there is no conflict. The specific controls but only within its self-described scope.

The sum of the transactions addressed by the rate formulas— 224(d)(3) (1994 ed., Supp. V) (attachments "used by a cable television system solely to provide cable service") and 224(e)(1) (attachments "used by telecommunications carriers to provide telecommunications services")—is less than the theoretical coverage of the Act as a whole. Section 224(a)(4) reaches "any attachment by a cable television system or provider of telecommunications service." The first two subsections are simply subsets of—but not limitations upon—the third.

Likewise, nothing about the 1996 amendments suggests an intent to decrease the jurisdiction of the FCC. To the contrary, the amendments' new provisions extend the Act to cover telecommunications. As we have noted, commingled services were covered under the statute as first enacted, in the views of the FCC and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Texas Util. Elec. Co. v. FCC, 997 F. 2d 925 (1993). Before 1996, it is true, the grant of authority in 224(a)(4) and (b) was coextensive with the application of the single rate formula in 224(d). The 1996 amendments limited 224(d) to attachments used by a cable television system "solely to provide cable service," but—despite Texas Util. Elec. Co.—did not so limit "pole attachment" in 224(a)(4). At this point, coextensiveness ended. Cable television systems that also provide Internet service are still covered by 224(a)(4) and (b)—just as they were before 1996—whether or not they are now excluded from the specific rate formula of 224(d); if they are, this would simply mean that the FCC must prescribe just and reasonable rates for them without necessary reliance upon a specific statutory formula devised by Congress.

The Court of Appeals held that 224(d) and (e) implicitly limit the reach of 224(a)(4) and (b); as a result, it was compelled to reach the question of the correct categoriza-

Page:   Index   Previous  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007