On August 2, 2018 the FCC unanimously adopted a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking comment on creating the “Connected Care Pilot Program,” a Universal Service Fund (“USF”) pilot program. The program aims to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by promoting broadband-enabled telehealth service adoption among low-income families, particularly in rural, unserved, or underserved parts of America, as well … Continue Reading
Amid the ongoing discussion surrounding “net neutrality,” the FTC’s role in overseeing broadband Internet access service (BIAS) has received increasing scrutiny following the recent passage of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (“RIF Order”). Several recent developments indicate that, although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will continue to have a shared role in monitoring broadband markets, the Federal Trade Commissions … Continue Reading
In one of the most significant antitrust cases in recent years, AT&T won the right to merge with Time Warner when Judge Richard Leon ruled in their favor yesterday.
AT&T and Time Warner announced their merger in October 2016. The merging parties touted the synergies that they could achieve by combining AT&T’s distributional power with Time Warner’s unique content.
After … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to bring a $2.8 million penalty against HobbyKing for marketing drone-attachable audio/video (AV) transmitters that operate on unauthorized frequencies.
For marketers and retailers of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and attachable devices, this penalty signals that the FCC is cracking down on the makers and marketers of noncompliant UAS and UAS-attachable devices. This penalty also … Continue Reading
Now that the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s highly anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is going back to the drawing board in a new Public Notice that seeks comment on foundational TCPA issues.
In March, the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC’s 2015 interpretation of … Continue Reading
On 27 March 2018, the FCC released a draft of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (which was adopted on 17 April 2018) seeking comments on proposals to streamline the licensing process for “small satellites,” more commonly known as “smallsats.” By initiating this proceeding, which has been long-anticipated by the smallsat community, the FCC will be recognizing the growing … Continue Reading
The federal government is open. But less than three weeks remain under the current reprieve and another shutdown seems possible. Although the Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand fees to support uninterrupted operations earlier this week, the FCC will start to run out of time – and money – if the stalemate over the budget continues and another shutdown occurs.
How … Continue Reading
The FCC has proposed to exclude so-called “Twilight Towers” from routine historic preservation review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”) and its regulations. Section 106 requires a federal agency to engage in a consultation process, which involves identification of a project’s adverse effects on historic and cultural properties and engagement with various interested parties, such as … Continue Reading
In his keynote address at the 6th Annual Winnik Forum, Don Stockdale, the FCC’s new Wireless Bureau Chief, described the primary issues he faces as promoting innovation, making more spectrum available for commercial use, and expanding the deployment of wireless networks. Don began his appointment in June 2017, but has extensive experience as an economist and attorney in both the … Continue Reading
During his remarks at the Winnik Forum, International Bureau Chief Tom Sullivan reflected on the challenges and opportunities of his role as the United States’ top communications diplomat. “Everyone wants to know what the FCC is doing,” he said. This interest affords the United States, and the FCC, significant opportunities to exert influence on the most pressing issues at the … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
Growing evidence suggests that existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) compliance challenges, and the current TCPA litigation landscape, are increasingly a threat to many U.S. companies – particularly small businesses that have fewer resources and could face financial ruin if targeted by a class action lawsuit. To help address this issue and support the U.S. economy, Congress and the Federal … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) imposing a $82 million penalty against Best Insurance Contracts (d/b/a Wilmington Insurance Quotes) and its owner/operator Philip Roesel for allegedly making more than 21 million prerecorded robocalls with illegally “spoofed” caller ID information in an attempt to sell health insurance.… Continue Reading
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Forfeiture Order (“Order”) imposing a nearly $2.9 million penalty against Dialing Services, LLC (“Dialing Services”) for making prerecorded voice calls to wireless phones without the “prior express consent” of the called parties. This Order is notable because the FCC targeted the technology platform provider rather than the provider’s customer.… Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a draft Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on renewal requirements and permanent discontinuance rules for a variety of wireless services. The Draft Further Notice proposes new rules—such as additional renewal term construction obligations to enhance rural build-out—that, if adopted, would have far-reaching implications for wireless licensees.
In … Continue Reading
On July 13, the United States (“US”) Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a decision allocating a contiguous 5 GHz band of radio frequency spectrum for vehicular radar operations. The decision implemented in the US a 2015 decision by the International Telecommunications Union (“ITU”) to harmonize such spectrum globally for vehicular radar use, making it possible for such systems to … Continue Reading
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