Appeal of Bretton Woods Telephone Company, Inc.Annotate this Case
The petitioners, Bretton Woods Telephone Company, Inc., Dixville Telephone Company, Dunbarton Telephone Company, Inc., and Granite State Telephone, Inc., four exempt incumbent rural local exchange carriers (RLECs), appealed an order of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that denied their motion to rescind or declare null and void registrations of competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) authorized by the PUC to engage in business as telephone utilities in the service territories of RLECs. Citing RSA 374:26 and RSA 374:22-g, among other statutes, the petitioners alleged that the PUC, before issuing the registrations, had failed to provide notice, hold hearings, and determine whether allowing such competition would be consistent with the public good. In light of the Supreme Court's decision in "Appeal of Union Tel. Co.," the petitioners specifically argued that federal law did not preempt these requirements. The PUC ultimately denied the petitioners' request and ruled that section 253(a) of the Telecommunications Act preempted RSA 374:26 and RSA 374:22-g, II. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed, finding that section 253(a) preempted state and local laws, regulations, and requirements that "prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service."