The cable industry has appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals a Nashville judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit against EPB’s fiber to the home project.
“This preserves our legal rights,” said Stacey B. Briggs, president and executive director of the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association. “Hopefully this will allow the merits of the case to be heard.”
A hearing date is expected to be set on the cable association’s appeal filed Monday.
The lawsuit claims EPB’s video plan is illegally cross-subsidized by electric system revenue, which EPB officials deny.
EPB officials could not be reached for comment Monday evening, but previously have said their video business plan follows state law.
The association filed the appeal Monday afternoon in the Davidson County Chancery Court, the last day that an appeal was allowed, Mrs. Briggs said. Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle on June 27 dismissed the association’s lawsuit.
No date for the appeals court hearing has been set, Mrs. Briggs said.
“We’re not trying to prevent competition,” she said. “We’re just trying to make sure our competitors compete in a fair environment.”
On July 11 Hamilton County Chancellor Frank Brown dismissed a similar lawsuit by Comcast. Comcast officials have not said whether they plan to file an appeal.
EPB officials said at that time the chancellor’s ruling cleared the way to offer fiber-optics to the home. EPB officials said it is expected to start rolling out cable television, telephone and high-speed Internet to residential customers by late fall or winter, about six weeks later than planned. The delay comes from a volatile bond market caused by the subprime lending crisis, officials said.
Fiber to the home would be funded by a loan of up to $60 million from the electric system, officials have said. Sales of residential cable television, Internet and telephone service would repay the debt, they said.