Articles Posted in Communications Law

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A provision in the Multichannel Video Programming and Communications Services Tax (the Telecom Tax) prohibiting “every political subdivision of the state” from collecting franchise fees or taxes on franchises subject to the Telecom Tax is unconstitutionally void as applied to protesting cities. Four Kentucky cities and the Kentucky League of Cities, Inc. (collectively, Cities) filed a petition for declaratory relief alleging that the Telecom Tax’s Prohibition Provision violated their right to grant franchises and to collect franchise fees as provided in sections 163 and 164 of the Kentucky Constitution. The circuit court dismissed the petition. The court of appeals vacated the judgment of the circuit court and remanded, concluding that the Telecom Tax’s Prohibition Provision violated sections 163 and 164. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Telecom Tax’s Prohibition Provision was unconstitutionally void as applied to the Cities. View "Kentucky CATV Ass’n v. City of Florence" on Justia Law

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Virgin Mobile USA (Virgin) began doing business in Kentucky as a commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) provider in 2002. In 2006, Virgin asked the Commercial Mobile Radio Emergency Service Telecommunications Board (the Board) to refund $286,807 it claimed it had overpaid before the CMRS service charge statutes were amended in July 2006. The Board did not promptly respond and so Virgin made no CMRS payment to the Board until it had recaptured from post-July 2006 collections the $286,807 it claimed it had erroneously overpaid. In 2008, the Board filed suit to recover the disputed amount. The circuit court entered summary judgment against Virgin for $547,945. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that as a “CMRS provider,” Virgin had a statutory duty to collect the CMRS service charge from its customers during the pre-July 2006 time frame and remit them to the Board. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) Virgin was indebted to the Board in the sum of $286,807, not $547,945; and (2) the Board was entitled to attorneys fees. View "Virgin Mobile U.S.A., L.P. v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

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Virgin Mobile USA (Virgin) began doing business in Kentucky as a commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) provider in 2002. In July 2006, the General Assembly amended Ky. Rev. Stat. 65.7629(3), which required Virgin to collect a CMRS service charge from its customers. In 2008, the Commercial Mobile Radio Emergency Service Telecommunications Board (Board) filed suit against Virgin to recover from Virgin all monthly 911 services charges owed by Virgin for commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) connections before July 2006. The circuit court entered summary judgment against Virgin for $547,945, concluding that under the pre-July 2006 version of section 65.7629, Virgin was to collect the CMRS service charges and remit them to the Board. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the CMRS service charge did not apply to Virgin prior to the July 2006 amendment. View "Virgin Mobile U.S.A., LP v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

Posted in: Communications Law