8th Circuit Upholds Iowa City's Rights Regarding Installation of Fiber Optic Networks

Posted by Michael Dee Haley Van Loon Sheila Tipton on Wednesday, April 04, 2018

BrownWinick successfully defended the City of Iowa City in an appeal before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the City’s passage of three resolutions to facilitate ImOn Communications, LLC’s ("ImOn") construction of a fiber optic network in Iowa City that would provide only telephone and internet service.  Mediacom sued the City arguing that ImOn was required to have a cable franchise, despite the fact ImOn was not proposing to provide cable service.   The City obtained an order granting summary judgment when the federal district court found that, because ImOn was not delivering cable programming, it was not required to seek a cable franchise.  On April 4, 2018, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment.  This case is significant for local government authorities and telecommunications providers seeking to install fiber optic networks for phone and internet services.