A cable trade organization on Tuesday asked a Nashville judge to reconsider a decision dismissing the group’s lawsuit against EPB.
Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle on April 14 dismissed the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association’s lawsuit that sought to block EPB from offering fiber to the home.
“We’re going back to the judge and asking her to reconsider,” said Stacey B. Briggs, president and executive director of the cable group. “If she doesn’t, we can still appeal.”
The Nashville court will consider the cable industry’s appeal at a June 20 hearing, said Aldous McCrory, EPB vice president of legal services. EPB will file a response to the cable association’s appeal sometime before then, he said.
“We’re disappointed they’re trying to delay our project and are denying the community what they overwhelmingly responded to in a positive manner in various polls,” Mr. McCrory said. “We thought the (chancellor) was very specific in her decision to dismiss the case.”
A Nashville court will consider the cable industry’s appeal at a June 20 hearing, an official said.
Mrs. Briggs said her group has submitted to the Nashville court an EPB document that lays out the utility’s business plan for a $219.8 million bond.
EPB took out the bond to install fiber-optic lines to enhance the electric system, also known as a smart grid. The smart grid is an efficient electric command and control system, EPB officials say, and can serve as the backbone for a cable television, Internet and telephone service.
Mrs. Briggs said the business plan shows EPB’s telecommunications plan is a cross-subsidy because electric system revenue guarantees the bond.
Mr. McCrory disagreed, saying the document shows the smart grid and fiber to the home are two separate projects and that the bond proceeds will be used for a system that benefits the electric system.
Meanwhile, Mr. McCrory said EPB has yet to respond to a lawsuit in Hamilton County Chancery Court filed by Comcast of the South. Comcast’s lawsuit also seeks to block fiber to the home. Comcast has asked the court to expedite the discovery process, he said.
EPB officials have said that cable TV and other services could be offered to some residents by the end of the year.