Robert W. Quinn is a Partner with Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP in Washington, DC and serves as the WLF Legal Pulse‘s Featured Expert Contributor on Communications Regulation.

The relationship between the federal government (particularly the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)) and state/local governments has always been interesting to watch. In many ways, state actions promoting competition for local telephone services served as a catalyst for the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “1996 Act”). Congress took that baton and turned telephone competition into national policy.  That does not mean, however, that that federal/state relationship has not be free of ups and downs over the years, particularly as they relate to state and local oversight over carriers, services, or access to rights-of-way (as well as the fees generated by access to those rights-of-way (“ROW”)).