Local government entities throughout the U.S. are seeking an en banc rehearing of a ruling, handed down by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, that upheld video franchise rules adopted by the FCC in 2006. The petitioners include the cities of Los Angeles, St. Louis and Tampa, two suburban Washington, DC counties and the Greater Metro Telecommunications Consortium, which say that the appeals court decision issued in June contradicts precedent by finding franchise authority for the FCC in a provision of the 1934 Communications Act that pertains to common carriers. Upholding tenets of the 2006 FCC order that imposed a 90-day “shot-clock” on the processing of competitive video franchise applications by local municipalities and that prohibited local governments from seeking build-out and other franchise conditions that could be deemed as “unreasonable,” a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit court decreed that the FCC “acted well within its statutorily delineated authority.” In documents filed Monday, the petitioners contend that, because statutory provisions and prior court decisions “expressly reserve” franchise rights for state and local governments, providing the FCC with such authority “alters the careful balance struck between state, federal and local authority and necessarily raises issues of extraordinary importance under our system of federalism.” The petitioners also cast doubt upon the panel’s finding that the FCC could regulate cable franchises “pursuant to [the FCC’s] common carrier authority under 47 U.S.C. [Section] 201(b) . . . even though cable operators are not common carriers.” As such, the petitioners claim rehearing is “particularly appropriate,” as the panel comprises “the first court to determine that the common carrier provisions of the [1934 Communications] Act allow the FCC to exercise authority over the franchising process, and over state and local property that the FCC otherwise has limited or no authority to regulate.”