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

Category Archives: Telecoms & Broadband

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

Bills Introduced to Amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Both Chambers of Congress are considering legislation that would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  Introduced in the House by Congressman Pallone (H.R. 6026) and in the Senate (S. 3078) by Senator Markey, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act adds a new definition, “robocall,” in place of “automated telephone dialing system.”  The new term would include devices that make calls … 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 Broadcasting, Copyright, Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Peter WattsPenny Thornton

The Brexit White Paper: A digital Brexit?

The UK Government’s White Paper sets out detailed proposals for the UK’s relationship with the EU following Brexit.

As described in our dissection of the document as a whole, the White Paper sees the digital economy as an area of global opportunity for the UK.   So what does the Government have to say about sector?

The White Paper’s distinguishes Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Mark BrennanMichele Farquhar

RICO Complaint Settlement Highlights TCPA Abuse by Plaintiffs’ Law Firms; Serial Plaintiffs and Cy Pres Awards Continue to Flourish

As the number of frivolous Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class actions continues to grow unabated, the potential rewards have even led to alleged criminal activity by plaintiff firms seeking to game the system.  A recently settled Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) complaint showcases a particularly egregious series of allegations that several plaintiffs’ law firms conspired with other … Continue Reading

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

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 Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Angus CoulterAlice Wallace-Wright

Communications and competition: we’ve got the tools for the gigabit society

Since the announcement on 6 June that the Council and European Parliament had reached agreement on the draft Directive establishing the Electronic Communications Code (the “Code”), the communications and competition communities have been on tenterhooks to see what the final version of the text contains.

The draft Code has been in the pipeline for almost two years and is part … Continue Reading

Posted in Internet, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband

Over-the-air software updates for IoT devices present companies with product liability and safety opportunities — and challenges

Mobile devices within the Internet of Things (IoT) are continuously benefitting from rapid technological advancements. And once those devices are sold to consumers, over-the-air (OTA) software updates ensure they can be modified to stay current with new capabilities. Consumer electronics companies can remotely change product features, deliver messages or warnings, identify safety-related activities, gather data, and solve issues.

But OTA … Continue Reading

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Mark Brennan

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 e-commerce, Internet, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband

Italy: Double score at TopLegal Industry Awards

We are excited to announce our awards in the two categories below in Tuesday’s TopLegal Industry Awards.

Best Technology Lawyer of the Year – Marco Berliri

“Among the Italian industry sector greater experts“

Best Pharmaceutical Law Firm of the Year

“A team with an outstanding patent litigation track record“

These awards are testament to our holistic, collaborative approach and … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Michelle KisloffPaul OttoJoe Vladeck

Hogan Lovells Represents Sears in First-Ever Modification to FTC Privacy Consent Order, Clarifying FTC Expectations for Data Collection in Mobile Applications

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved Sears Holdings Management Corporation’s request to amend the terms of Sears’ 2009 consent order (the “Order”) in a manner that helpfully clarifies the lead U.S. privacy regulator’s views of notice and consent in the marketplace for mobile applications (“mobile apps”). After reviewing Sears’ petition and public comments, the Commission agreed with Sears that, … 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 Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), Drones, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Peter WattsWinston MaxwellMichele Farquhar

TMT Horizons 2018

2018 will be another dramatic year for TMT. Our job is to help TMT businesses to chart a course through by bringing together the insights of over 800 lawyers who focus on the sector across six continents. That is why we have asked some of our top thinkers globally to provide a snapshot of their vision for the coming year. … 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

Telecom Convergence: Nirvana or Nightmare?

I’m currently watching a wonderful new show called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” on Amazon Prime.  It’s a comedy about a recent divorcee in Manhattan in the early 1960s who decides to become a stand-up comedian.  As I’m watching the show my thoughts drift to the magnitude of difference between the fictitious Midge Maisel watching Bob Newhart on her 1960s-era television … 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 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 Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Hogan Lovells supports Vodafone Group in its 2017 Law Enforcement Disclosure Statement

 Earlier this year Vodafone Group (“Vodafone“) published an update to its Law Enforcement Disclosure Statement (“Statement“), including an annexe summarizing law enforcement and encryption laws in 28 countries. The Statement offers detailed insights into the legal frameworks, governance principles and operating policies associated with responding to demands for assistance from law enforcement and intelligence agencies … 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 Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Telecom Leaders Eye Emerging Business Challenges at Hogan Lovells Summit

The corrosive effects of rising nationalism and the sheer complexity of conducting business on a global scale has made leading tech executives concerned about their companies’ ability to trade freely and secure the regulatory and other government approvals they need to compete successfully. These and other issues surfaced during a candid hour-long discussion between Hogan Lovells’ counsel Tom Sugrue and … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Connected Cars: Internet of Things Webinar Update

On July 26th, Hogan Lovells hosted another installment in its 2017 webinar series on emerging issues involving the Internet of Things (IoT). This webinar focused on potential legal issues with connected vehicles and smart cars, including in the areas of regulatory compliance, privacy, litigation, and intellectual property.

Lance Bultena, a partner in Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. office, moderated the discussion. … 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 Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Eugene LowPJ Kaur

Cold calls in hot water: Hong Kong consultation paper on P2P telemarketing

Businesses may often use peer-to-peer (“P2P“) telemarketing calls involving interpersonal communication to promote goods and services directly to customers. While such calls may be effective in some cases, they appear to be not so welcomed by customers in Hong Kong. A 2015 government consultancy study in Hong Kong reports that an overwhelming 96% of call recipients considered such … 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