Cellco Partnership v. FCC, No. 11-1135 (D.C. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Recognizing the growing importance of mobile data in a wireless market in which smartphones are increasingly common, the FCC adopted a rule requiring mobile-data providers to offer roaming agreements to other such providers on "commercially reasonable" terms. Verizon challenged the data roaming rule on multiple grounds. The court held that Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq., plainly empowered the FCC to promulgate the data roaming rule. And although the rule bears some marks of common carriage, the court deferred to the FCC's determination that the rule imposed no common carrier obligations on mobile-internet providers. In response to Verizon's remaining arguments, the court concluded that the rule did not effect an unconstitutional taking and was neither arbitrary nor capricious.