On 17 March Hogan Lovells hosted a live webinar where several of our Global TMT thought leaders interviewed a panel of academic experts from our Law and Technology Academic Advisory Council on the key legal and tech trends for 2017, including regulation of artificial intelligence, competition law and big data, global privacy and copyright trends, and the future of broadband … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Media Relations Office has released a statement announcing Chairman Pai’s intention to stay a data security rule adopted by the Commission late last year in its Broadband Privacy Order. Absent a stay, the rule is set to go into effect on March 2.
The data security rule at issue states in its entirety:
The internet has become today’s global trade route, and personal data is one of its major currencies. The growth in the digital economy is impressive. One study found that economic activity taking place over the internet is growing at 10% per year within the G-20 group of nations. In the United States alone, one estimate found that companies exported nearly … Continue Reading
On November 2, 2016 the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) released its long-awaited – and much debated – Report and Order adopting privacy rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the Order, the FCC applied the Communications Act’s privacy requirements to broadband Internet access service (BIAS), which it called “the most significant communications technology of today.”
Several of the FCC requirements … Continue Reading
The FCC’s open Internet order and the BEREC guidelines on net neutrality are similar in how they analyze commercial offers by ISPs and practices such as zero rating. Both BEREC and the FCC recognize that commercial practices do not lend themselves to a … Continue Reading
Three Commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) found areas of both agreement and disagreement in a wide-ranging discussion at the CTIA Super Mobility conference last week in Las Vegas. The discussion among Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Ajit Pai, and Michael O’Rielly, moderated by CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, covered LTE-U, the Internet of Things, infrastructure, free data, competition, … Continue Reading
Several recent high-profile mergers in the communications industry have faced scrutiny from multiple U.S. federal agencies. These transactions, both successful and unsuccessful, have drawn attention to the process by which the U.S. government approves or blocks mergers and acquisitions in the communications and broadband Internet industries. Parallel investigations by both the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice highlight … Continue Reading
In his keynote speech at the CTIA Super Mobility conference in Las Vegas on September 7, 2016, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler said that those in the wireless industry are “not just living history,” but also “writing it.” Focusing on the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G, Chairman Wheeler’s speech addressed both 5G’s potential and the … Continue Reading
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court decision dismissing a class action suit against Time Warner Cable, Inc. that accused the cable company of tying premium cable services to leasing set-top boxes. In a split decision, the court concluded that the complaint against Time Warner Cable failed to assert facts that, if … Continue Reading
Last week, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel issued a significant decision that holds that common carriers are categorically exempt from Section 5 of the FTC Act—even for activities unrelated to common carriage. See AT&T Mobility LLC. v. Fed. Trade Comm’n, No. 15-16585, 2016 WL 4501685 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2016). This opinion has potentially far-reaching implications for the telecommunications … Continue Reading
On August 10, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Order that had sought to preempt Tennessee’s and North Carolina’s laws restricting local municipalities’ ability to provide broadband service. The Court found that the FCC had exceeded its statutory authority by preempting state laws without clear authorization from Congress.… Continue Reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are excited to present this entry in our TMT2020 series, which reflects the key technology, media, and telecoms legal issues that are expected to impact today’s organizations and tomorrow’s marketplace. It also provides an opportunity to highlight contributions by TMT associates across our global offices and practice areas.
Today’s smartphones rely on mobile broadband connectivity that is … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is seeking updated information on how the increased adoption of radiofrequency energy-emitting devices is affecting the level of unwanted RF energy emitted from man-made sources (the “spectrum noise floor”). The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (“TAC”) has launched a technical inquiry to study changes to the spectrum noise floor over the past two decades, and … Continue Reading
In a major victory for the Federal Communications Commission’s democratic majority, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order on June 14, 2016. The 2-1 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals likely is not the last word on net neutrality because broadband service providers will very likely pursue rehearing from … Continue Reading
On May 10, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its Memorandum Opinion and Order approving Charter Communications Inc.’s (“Charter”) acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. The merged entity, called “New Charter,” will be the second-largest broadband provider with 19.4 million users, and the third-largest cable television provider with 17.4 million customers. The approval of the merger, however, did not … Continue Reading
On April 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protraction Bureau, unveiled standardized consumer broadband labels that will list information about the price and performance of fixed and mobile broadband service. While the FCC will not require broadband providers to adopt the broadband labels, the FCC explained that the labels will provide a safe … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) decision to further harmonize the rates that telecommunications and cable companies pay to attach to “utility” poles was recently published in the Federal Register. Federal law limits how much pole owners can charge attachers by tying monthly rents to the cost of constructing and maintaining the poles. These poles are primarily owned by electric … Continue Reading
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument for March 17, 2016, in an important case regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ability to preempt state laws that place restrictions on local municipalities’ ability to provide their own broadband networks. Today, 20 states limit the ability of local governmental agencies, such as utilities or branches of city government, … Continue Reading
Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) adopted an Order making it easier for telecommunications providers to provide facilities-based services such as undersea submarine cables and satellite services, between the United States and Cuba.
A little over a week before oral arguments were scheduled to be heard, a federal court handed off the pending appeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial Joint Sales Agreement rules to a new court. The case, Howard Stirk Holdings, LLC v. FCC, involves appeals of the FCC’s failure to complete its 2010 quadrennial review, as well as challenges … Continue Reading
On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued two proposed fines related to Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. In the first notice the FCC proposed a penalty of $718,000 against M.C. Dean, one of the largest U.S. electrical contracting companies, for allegedly interfering with and disabling the operation of consumers’ Wi-Fi devices at the Baltimore Convention Center. In the second … Continue Reading
On November 5, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau announced a $595,000 settlement agreement with Cox Communications, Inc. to resolve an investigation into whether the company failed to properly protect its customers’ personal information when electronic data systems were breached in August 2014. According to the FCC, Cox exposed the personal information of numerous customers and failed to report … Continue Reading
On September 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comments on the Broadnet Teleservices, LLC (Broadnet) petition asking the FCC to declare that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not apply to calls made by or on behalf of federal, state, and local governments, when such calls are made for official purposes.
Currently, the … Continue Reading
Comcast’s failed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) presents a lesson in the types of antitrust harms that merger enforcers in the United States are willing to pursue.
Using traditional “horizontal” merger analysis, the combination would have resulted in almost no reduction of head-to-head competition, as there were very few geographic areas in which the two companies were head-to-head rivals. … Continue Reading