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D.C. Circuit Denies Motion to Expedite Consideration of E-rate Petition for Review

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied Essential Network Technologies and's Feb. 26 emergency motion to expedite consideration of their Feb. 14 E-rate program petition for review, said its order Monday (docket 24-1027). The petitioners haven’t…

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demonstrated that delay “will cause irreparable injury and that the decision under review is subject to substantial challenge, or that the public interest otherwise warrants expedition,” said the order. Their petition for review challenges the authority of the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) to stop processing the reimbursement of discounts for IT and broadband services that MetComm and Essential provided to schools under Section 254 of the Communications Act (see 2402200044). Their motion for expedited consideration argued that unless a briefing schedule is set that would allow for a D.C. Circuit decision on the appeal before the end of the court’s May sitting period, numerous elementary and secondary schools will be deprived of affordable IT infrastructure and broadband service for the new school year this fall (see 2403140002). But the FCC’s opposition said the petitioners have provided no compelling reasons for the D.C. Circuit to expedite review. “Under the circumstances, far from needing to expedite this case,” the D.C. Circuit “lacks jurisdiction to decide it,” because there is no final FCC action for the court to review, said the commission’s opposition.