July 12, 2022

David Murray and Matthew Johnson recognized for Willkie’s win on behalf of Comcast in a bellwether right-of-way dispute.

Partner David Murray and associate Matthew Johnson were recognized by The AmLaw Litigation Daily for securing a significant victory on behalf of Comcast in a closely watched litigation relating to the right-of-way (ROW) access fees that cities can charge cable operators.

Willkie was lead counsel to Comcast in challenging a 2016 ordinance by the city of Beaverton, Oregon, that levied a fee for broadband services in addition to the existing cable franchise fee. Judge Michael H. Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently ruled that the ordinance was preempted by the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, which limits ROW access fees that cities and other franchising authorities can charge a cable operator to five percent of the company’s gross revenues from cable services.

The ruling is of heightened significance as dozens of cities have enacted or are considering enacting ROW ordinances similar to Beaverton’s. These fees amount to millions of dollars in additional costs that would be potentially passed on to consumers.

Read more about the District of Oregon’s decision here.

Read The AmLaw Litigation Daily“ Litigator of the Week” article here (subscription may be required).

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