A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Duran v. La Boom Disco, Inc. has interrupted the emerging consensus around the definition of “autodialer” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). On April 7, 2020, a Second Circuit panel joined a Ninth Circuit panel in adopting a broad reading of the statutory definition of … Continue Reading
Recent developments have positioned the Executive Branch to exert greater influence over the U.S. telecommunications sector. On April 4, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order creating a new process for Executive Branch review of telecommunications-related applications and licenses involving foreign participation. The new procedures replace the review currently performed by an informal, multiagency group known as “Team Telecom.” … Continue Reading
On March 23, 2020, President Trump signed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act. The law requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to collect and disseminate more granular data about the availability of broadband service and to establish processes to ensure data accuracy.
The legislation comes in response to commentary about the FCC’s broadband coverage maps and … Continue Reading
Health care providers and government officials have more clarity regarding the ability to place certain calls and texts about the novel coronavirus, thanks to recent action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On March 20, 2020, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus qualifies as an emergency under the Telephone Consumer Protection … Continue Reading
On January 27, 2020, an Eleventh Circuit panel released a landmark ruling in Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC. The key issue in the case was how to interpret ambiguous language in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS or autodialer). In recent years, imprecise statutory phrasing and the Federal Communication Commission’s … Continue Reading
The FCC recently issued a Public Notice that sought comment on whether to make the 960-1164 MHz and 5030-5091 MHz bands available to support unmanned aerial system operations (UAS).
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the FCC to submit a report to Congress on whether to … Continue Reading
On November 12, members of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) gathered in Washington, DC, to commemorate 25 years of spectrum auctions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Hosted at Hogan Lovells LLP, the event featured current and former FCC staff members and industry lawyers, who discussed the history and future of spectrum auctions. The FCC’s leadership and strong record … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, announced the members of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Task Force). The Task Force, an advisory body to the FCC, will investigate the current state of broadband access in agricultural lands and recommend policies and regulatory … Continue Reading
In a Public Notice released October 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the status of the 39 short-form applications for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. Auction 103 will offer 14,144 licenses covering some 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.
On October 2, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019 to address the rise in deceptive robocalls and protect California consumers from fraudulent calls.
The law requires telecommunications service providers to implement Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) protocols by January 1, 2021. These protocols are … Continue Reading
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
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
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 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
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
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:
Note: The post below has been updated to reflect extended comment and reply comment filing deadlines.
On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to give over-the-top (“OTT”) video programming providers certain legacy negotiating and carriage rights with respect to both cable programming (i.e. program access rights) and … Continue Reading
On October 28, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he is proposing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to give over-the-top (“OTT”) video providers certain legacy negotiating and carriage rights with respect to cable programming (i.e. program access rights) and broadcast television programming (i.e. retransmission consent rights). Chairman Wheeler explained … Continue Reading
When last year’s “supercommittee” failed to reach consensus on a plan to reduce the deficit, it set in motion $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending cuts for 2013. If Congress does not act to prevent this “sequestration” by January 2, 2013, the budget axe will fall across virtually every element of the US government. The Office of Management and … Continue Reading
Written by Trey Hanbury and Phillip Berenbroick
In a move that has the potential to unleash new broadband deployment across the United States, the Federal Communications Commission recently loosened technical constraints on the long-dormant 2.3 GHz band. The rules that the FCC adopted October 17, 2012 essentially ratify a joint proposal that the two largest licensees in the band, the … Continue Reading