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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Wesley Platt

Posts by Wesley Platt
Posted in Technology Photo of Ari FitzgeraldPhoto of Tom PetersPhoto of Wesley Platt

Connected Vehicles in Focus at 2018 CES

In addition to displaying a wide array of next-generation connected vehicle technologies, the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (“CES”) hosted lively discussion of the new possibilities that will be created as vehicles become capable of seamlessly communicating with other vehicles, infrastructure, and pedestrians.  In one panel, Connected Vehicles in Connected Ecosystems, participants from across industries explored what the shift means for data collection, business models, and ecosystems.

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Alexander MaltasPhoto of Wesley Platt

FCC Commissioners Debate Adjustments to Merger Review Standard

In the first major transaction approval under Ajit Pai’s Chairmanship, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently approved, subject to targeted, transaction-specific conditions, license and authorization transfers in connection with CenturyLink’s $34 billion acquisition of Level 3.  The FCC’s recitation of its merger review standard in its order (the “CenturyLink-Level 3 Order”) differed somewhat from the description of the standard used in recent transactions reviewed during the Obama administration.  The Commissioners’ separate statements debated whether the new formulation merely clarified the FCC’s existing standard or constituted a substantial alteration of the

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark BrennanPhoto of Wesley Platt

New Study Highlights Spike in TCPA Litigation Since 2015 FCC Decision

A new study has found that litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has increased 50 percent since the Federal Communications Commission released its July 2015 “Omnibus” Declaratory Ruling and Order, which had purported to clarify several issues around the agency’s TCPA rules.  As explained below, this continuing trend is one of many reasons that Congress and the FCC should revisit the TCPA framework and provide reasonable, practical compliance approaches for good-faith callers.

Posted in Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Ari FitzgeraldPhoto of Tom PetersPhoto of Wesley Platt

Connected Cars are Coming. Quickly.

One of the highlights at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the parade of new connected vehicle technologies.  Automakers and their suppliers rolled out a number of innovative capabilities that promise to shape the next generation of driving, make transportation safer and more efficient, revitalize our cities, and reduce air pollution.  Often lost amidst the “oohs” and “ahhs” these new capabilities inspire, however, is their dependence on radio spectrum and the policies that govern its use. The new connected vehicle capabilities come in decidedly different flavors.  Some, for example,

Posted in Internet, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Wesley Platt

Winnik Forum Panelists Explore Cybersecurity in the Connected World

Hogan Lovells’ Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum  explored how the Internet of Things (IoT) may continue to expand the scope of cybersecurity concerns.  Cybersecurity risks for the IoT were previously synonymous with enterprise products.  Now these risks extend to consumer devices, services and applications. According to cybersecurity leaders attending the forum, the IoT market needs new, market-driven approaches to cybersecurity given the number of at-risk IoT products and services.  Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau, said while the number of IoT devices has exploded,

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Wesley Platt

FCC Harmonizes Pole Attachment Rates

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 utilities and, to a lesser extent, incumbent telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon.  Historically, however, the rates paid by telecommunications providers exceeded those paid by cable operators.  The FCC’s decision to

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Wesley Platt

U.S. Industry Recommends Market Solutions for Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Law Enforcement Access Challenges for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things raises new concerns about privacy, security and law enforcement access.  Rather than develop new rules for new devices, industry experts convened during the 2014 Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum recommended allowing the market to try solve these challenges before the government steps in. In May 2014, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST”) released a report on big data as an accompaniment to the big data review being conducted by the White House.  As moderator Mark Brennan of Hogan Lovells noted, the

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark BrennanPhoto of Wesley Platt

U.S. Regulator Announces $10 Million Proposed Forfeiture Over Data Security Practices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing a $10 million penalty against TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc.  for allegedly violating laws protecting consumers’ personal information.  Specifically, the FCC alleged that the companies placed the personal data of up to 300,000 consumers at risk by storing Social Security numbers, names, addresses, driver’s licenses, and other proprietary information (PI) on unprotected Internet servers that “anyone in the world could access.” Read More: FCC Announces $10 Million Proposed Forfeiture Over Data Security Practices

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum Photo of Trey HanburyPhoto of Wesley Platt

A Shared Vision for Spectrum

Earlier this month, the U.K. took a small but significant step towards a future in which spectrum is shared rather than reserved for a particular use.  The U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (“DCMS”) released its 2014 Spectrum Strategy, which committed to “a gradual move” from exclusive to shared use of spectrum, in line with the European Commission’s promotion of spectrum sharing. As unencumbered airwaves become a thing of the past, “sharing will be crucial,” it said.  “Technical and regulatory innovations to enable such sharing must be prioritized.”    DCMS