Court Dismisses Petition Challenging the FCC’s Freeze on Jurisdictional Separation Rules

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The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Court) has dismissed a Petition for Review filed by six individuals (Petitioners) challenging the FCC’s 2018 order freezing the jurisdictional separation rules. These rules required rate-of-return carriers to divide their costs and revenues between interstate and intrastate jurisdictions to help prevent the recovery of the same costs from both jurisdictions. The Petitioners argued that the freeze on old wireline cost-calculation formulas had increased costs to small rate-of-return carriers, who then grossly overcharge people with fees whenever they make long-distance calls. The Court found that the Petitioners lacked standing because they presented no evidence that the continuing application of the frozen rules harmed them or is likely to harm them because they do not purchase telephone service from a provider whose rates are affected by the rules. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Petition.

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