LUS Fiber wins court challenge against NCTC suit

LUS Fiber struck another point last week for municipal service providers when a U.S. District Court judge threw out a suit filed by the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) to block the provider from appealing to the FCC.

At issue is the NCTC's denial of membership to LUS Fiber, which currently provides 100 Mbps service via its Fiber to the premises (FTTP) network to businesses and residential customers at competitive prices. By becoming a member of the NCTC, LUS Fiber would be able to negotiate discounts for content agreements.

Previously, Lafayette argued in a suit with the U.S. District Court in Kansas that NCTC member Cox Communications leveraged its influence to prevent LUS Fiber from gaining membership. Of course, Cox said the allegations were false.

Not long after LUS made its case to the court, the NCTC filed a countersuit against LUS to prevent the complaint from being heard by the FCC.

Attorneys representing LUS argued that the NCTC's counter suit was nothing more than an effort "to drag a Louisiana municipal public utility into court on the plaintiff's home turf in an effort to avoid being held accountable for its conduct before the Federal Communications Commission."

U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Vratil, however, threw out the NCTC's countersuit, saying that the FCC should make the decision on the issue.

Although LUS Fiber did score a victory against the NCTC, the outcome remains uncertain as the FCC has not indicated when it would rule on the municipal provider's complaint.   

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