New Mexico city ordinance preempted by federal law.

In 1998, Santa Fe enacted a city ordinance which required owners of telecommunication facilities to get lease approval by the city, making sure it was “in the best interest of the public”. Section 253 of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempted the ordinance citing that Santa Fe city officials would essentially have complete control over who could and could not provide telecom services in their community. This provision was required to be removed from the regulation. The federal law also required the city to drop a section of the ordinance which discussed the fee structure because it impeded a company’s ability to provide service. (Qwest Corp. v. City of Santa Fe, U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, No. CIV 00-795, August 29, 2002)

Posted on December 15, 2002