CityBridge Defeats Challenge to NYC WiFi Plan

Judge Turns Away Challenge to NYC Plan for Free Wi-Fi
– New York Law Journal

The New York Law Journal covered Manatt’s role as counsel to CityBridge in a challenge brought by Telebeam, a pay phone franchise that opposed New York City’s free WiFi initiative. Manatt’s Kenneth Friedman, a partner in the firm’s litigation practice, represented CityBridge at trial.

Telebeam, after being instructed by the city to transfer its pay phone infrastructure to CityBridge, sued the city and the company claiming that the city, by abandoning its competition-based approach to pay phones, violated Telecommunications Act §253, which prohibits state and local laws from blocking interstate telecommunications service.

Eastern District Judge Nina Gershon rejected the challenge on July 11, citing the city's right to manage public rights-of-way, as dictated by “safe harbor” provisions in the Telecommunications Act.

Read the article here