Verizon sues city to avoid paying 5G fees, says the FCC has its back

Enlarge / A monitor seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Verizon has sued the City of Rochester, New York, in order to avoid paying fees for deploying 5G equipment and fiber lines.

Verizon’s lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of New York on Thursday, claims that the fees are higher than those allowed by federal law. As proof, Verizon points to a Federal Communications Commission preemption order from last year that attempts to limit the fees and aesthetic requirements cities and towns impose on carrier deployments. Rochester imposed its new fees in February of this year.

Verizon may have a good chance of winning its lawsuit if that FCC preemption order stands. But the FCC is being sued by cities from Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona, which claim that the preemption is illegal. (Cities from Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New York also intervened in the lawsuit to support the case against the FCC.) The outcome of that case could affect the Verizon suit against Rochester and any similar lawsuits filed against cities in the future.

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