Communications & Media Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Challenge to FCC Preemption of State Prohibition on Municipal Broadband to be Heard in March

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has set oral argument for 9:00 a.m., Thursday, March 17, 2016 on the appeals brought by the States of Tennessee and North Carolina challenging the FCC’s order striking down provisions of...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 1.25.16

So the bull market may be on its way out of town after a nearly 7-year stretch [care to jump on the “blame the Fed” bandwagon?], but even when combined with usual predictors like declines in industrial production and...more

DC Circuit to Review the FCC's Robocall Rules - Do They Unfairly Expose Utilities to Fines for Keeping Their Customers Informed...

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) limits the use of automated dialing equipment to make calls or send text messages to wireless phone numbers without the called party's express prior consent. Because utility...more

States Have Jurisdiction Over ISP-Bound Traffic Says 3rd Circuit

On November 25, the Third Circuit held that states have jurisdiction over Internet Service Provider (ISP) bound traffic exchanged between two competing local exchange carriers (CLECs). In 2008, Core billed AT&T for...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 12.9.15

It’s already the strongest M&A year in history; why not add two iconic American brands to the mix? Dow Chemical and DuPont are reportedly in “advanced talks” to merge, creating a behemoth with combined sales of more than $90...more

FCC Slams Door to Higher Pole Attachment Rates

After kicking open a door to potential annual pole attachment rental increases in the hundreds of millions of dollars when it adopted its February 2015 Net Neutrality order, the Federal Communications Commission yesterday...more

CPUC Proposed Decision Extends Pole Attachment Rights to CMRS Providers

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Assigned Commissioner to a rulemaking at the California Public Utility Commission (“CPUC”) issued a Proposed Decision to extend the state’s pole, conduit and right of way access rights to...more

Brussels Regulatory Brief: September/October

On 11 September, TeliaSonera and Telenor have abandoned the proposed merger of their business units in Denmark. The contemplated transaction would have resulted in the establishment of a joint venture active in the provision...more

Worth the Wait? After Thirty-Six Years, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Takes Comprehensive Action on Pole...

On October 21, 2015, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”) adopted a comprehensive set of pole attachment rules (hereinafter “Pole Attachment Rules”), following a year-and-a-half-long rulemaking and...more

Broadband declared an essential utility

On September 22, 2015, the White House Broadband Opportunity Council issued a report declaring broadband connectivity an "essential utility." ...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Previous Conflict Minerals Decision: Disclosure Requirement Violates First Amendment

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its previous decision striking down a narrow portion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) conflict...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms That Portions of Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Rules Violate First Amendment

On August 18, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reaffirmed its ruling in National Association of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission that portions of the SEC’s...more

Blog: Three-Judge Panel Of D.C. Circuit Again Holds That Mandatory Disclosure Requirement Of Conflict Minerals Rule Violates First...

In November 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing in connection with the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v....more

Germany rolls out IT Security Act

Germany's controversial IT Security Act (ITSG) came into effect on July 25, 2015.[1] The new act seeks to increase protections for German citizens, companies and government institutions that may be vulnerable to a range of IT...more

Los Angeles Settles Disputed Phone Tax for $92.5M

Recently, a class of plaintiffs settled with City of Los Angeles over its alleged unlawful collection of telephone utility user tax (UUT). The class alleged that the Los Angeles Municipal Code exempted from UUT all amounts...more

FCC Regulation of Internet Video: Implications for Local Government and Community Media

As the Federal Cable Communications Commission gets ready to adopt a new rule on how to modernize the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor to include companies that provide video via the public Internet,...more

Immediate Action Required by Cities to Begin Collecting Utility Users Tax

New Law Will Allow California Cities to Receive Tax Revenue on Prepaid Wireless Telephone Service - Prepaid wireless phone service is a booming business and, to date, cities have not been receiving their full measure...more

Sixth Circuit Consolidates Cases, Sets New Briefing Schedule in Appeals Involving Municipal Broadband Laws

As expected, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has consolidated the two Petition for Review proceedings brought by the states of Tennessee and North Carolina seeking review of the FCC’s order striking down provisions of...more

Australian Infrastructure – The Challenges to 2031

Released in May 2015 by Infrastructure Australia, the Australian Infrastructure Audit examines our asset base and sets out the needs and challenges facing the Australian infrastructure sector and its participants over the...more

CPUC Likely to Hold Verizon Responsible for its Share of Costs Related to Underground Communications Facilities

The California Public Utilities Commission will decide whether Verizon is improperly shifting costs to California cities by refusing to pay its share of expenses related to the installation of underground service facilities....more

An Oft-Forgotten Detail in Infrastructure Deals – Telecom Licenses

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, from energy to transportation, depends upon telecommunications for safe and efficient operation. The facilities that provide such communications services generally are proprietary...more

Texas Takes Step Toward Approving Charter/TWC Cable Merger

With approval of their proposed merger pending in the FCC, Charter and TWC recently filed an application to amend service provider certifications of operating authority with the Public Utility Commission of Texas. On Friday,...more

Charter/Time Warner Tout Benefits, Seek Approval of Merger in State and Federal Filings

Local Governments Can Protect Themselves and the Public By Filing Comments - Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Partnership recently filed a public interest statement with the FCC...more

Renewable Energy Update - July 2015

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. maintains solar tariffs, mixed response from industry - PV Magazine - Jul 9: Anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese c-Si PV modules imported into the growing U.S....more

Opportunity in FCC Review of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable Merger

The Federal Communications Commission has opened a proceeding to review the proposed merger announced in May between Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc., and the associated acquisition of Bright House...more

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