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

Tag Archives: FCC

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Trey Hanbury

Government Shutdown Limits FCC Operations to Safety-of-Life and Spectrum Auction Activities

The federal government shutdown that began at midnight December 29, 2018 shows no sign of ending soon. The Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand funds to continue operations uninterrupted but ran out of time – and money – last week.

The FCC earlier issued a statement that the agency had enough funding to remain open through January 2, 2019, but has … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Trey HanburyTom PetersSasha Javid

28 GHz Auction Nears Conclusion

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission auctions wireless broadband spectrum to the highest bidders, and the agency’s latest spectrum auction continues to march toward a conclusion.

Auction 101 is the first of several auctions offering high-frequency “millimeter wave” spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission has committed to hold in 2018 and 2019. At the close of bidding in Round 78 Tuesday, … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Ari FitzgeraldSarah K. Leggin

2018: A Space Odyssey – FCC and NASA Herald New Era of Market Friendly Space Policies

On November 8, 2018, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighted the agency’s jam-packed agenda on space and satellite regulation at the Hudson Institute’s “Space 2.0” event in Washington, D.C. In his remarks, he discussed the FCC’s renewed focus on space and satellite policy, and its efforts to promote innovative, commercial technologies through a market-based approach. Thomas E. Cremins, NASA’s Associate Administrator … Continue Reading

Posted in Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Ari FitzgeraldSarah K. Leggin

New Discoveries from Galileo? FCC Grants non-Federal Access to Revolutionary European Satellite

At its Open Meeting on November 15, the FCC approved a draft Order that grants in part the European Commission’s (EC) long-pending request for waivers of certain FCC licensing requirements to permit non-Federal U.S. receive-only earth stations to operate with specific signals of the Galileo satellite system (Galileo) without having to obtain an FCC license or grant of US … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanArpan Sura

Eighth Circuit Finds that Bare “Technical Violations” of the TCPA Do Not Establish Standing

In St. Louis Heart Center v. Nomax, Inc., the Eighth Circuit held that an “alleged failure to provide a technically compliant opt-out notice” in a fax advertisement, without more, does not give a plaintiff Article III standing to bring a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim.

The Eighth Circuit’s decision requires that the alleged injury be “traceable” to statutory … Continue Reading

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Technology Tony Lin

Smallsat Association Trailblazes Regulatory Path for Smallsat Operators

For many smallsat operators, solving difficult technical problems is the easy part of the mission; obtaining regulatory approvals is the hard part. The Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) is working to change that.

CSSMA is dedicated to creating a transparent and expedited spectrum coordination process through educational outreach, sharing best practices, and regulatory advocacy. CSSMA formally incorporated a year … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Trey HanburySarah K. Leggin

FCC Launches $100 Million Telehealth Pilot Program

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

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Logan BreedTrey HanburyAlexander MaltasDaniel Graulich

The FTC’s role in monitoring broadband markets following the FCC’s adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order

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

Posted in Deal Trends

A changing landscape? What AT&T/Time Warner means for future deals

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

Posted in Drones Mark BrennanLisa EllmanTrey Hanbury

No Fly Zone: FCC Proposes $2.8 Million Penalty for Marketing Non-Compliant Drone AV Accessories

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanArpan Sura

FCC Seeks to Refresh the TCPA Record

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

Posted in Technology Tony LinSarah K. Leggin

FCC set to initiate “small satellite” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

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

Posted in Deal Trends, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Michele FarquharTrey Hanbury

FCC Avoids Shutdown For Now, But Continued Threat Looms Over TMT Sector

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

Posted in Policy & Regulation Hilary TompkinsTrey HanburySarah K. Leggin

Ending the Twilight Saga: FCC Proposes Slashing Regulations to Speed Broadband Deployment

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

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Sarah K. Leggin

Focused on 5G: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Don Stockdale Delivers Keynote Address on Top Issues Before the FCC

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband

Tom Sullivan Reflects on His Role as International Bureau Chief

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Alexander MaltasWesley 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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Mark Brennan

Much-Needed TCPA Reform Would Support Small Businesses and Spur Economic Benefits

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanWesley 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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

FCC Proposes $82 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanSarah K. Leggin

FCC Extends TCPA Liability to Technology Platform Provider

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

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Michele Farquhar

FCC Proposes Increased Service Obligations on Wireless Licensees Seeking Renewal

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.[1]  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

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Ari Fitzgerald

US FCC Allocates 5 GHz of Contiguous Spectrum for Next Generation Vehicular Radar

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.[1]  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