Communications & Media Energy & Utilities

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USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments...more

German Parliament's IT-Security Act Covers Critical Infrastructure

On June 12, 2015, the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) passed an Act to Improve the Security of Information Technology Systems ("IT-Security Act"). The new legislation requires operators of so-called critical...more

Special Session Set For Today

After weeks of negotiations, speculation, and a late night caucus, Governor Mark Dayton called the Special Session for today at 10 a.m. The six bills on the approved agenda are the three budget bills that Dayton vetoed at...more

Open Internet Rules Become Effective June 12: Impact on Pole Attachments

On Friday, June 12 – barring a judicial stay – many of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules will become effective. A significant consequence of the reclassification of retail broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a...more

Municipal Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit

A cable operator generally cannot transfer control of its business or transfer its cable franchise without the prior approval of the franchising authority. This gives the franchising authority the opportunity to resolve...more

Federal Order Addresses California Restrictions on When Wireless Providers Can Produce Documents Responsive to Subpoenas

A recent order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois affirms that California Public Utilities Code § 2891 applies to wireless telecommunications providers. The argument in that case focused on the...more

Mining Issuers: Ensure your Websites and Investor Presentations Comply with NI 43-101

Mining issuers have their qualified persons (“QPs”) and occasionally legal counsel review technical disclosure, including news releases and technical reports, to ensure they comply with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of...more

Google’s Pole Attachment Rights in California on Hold for Now

The California Public Utilities CPUC (CPUC) released a Proposed Decision on February 20, 2015 denying a petition by Google Fiber Inc. (Google) to modify the CPUC’s Video Service Provider Decision or DIVCA Order. Google’s...more

California Updates Existing Utility Pole Rules to Improve Safety and Reliability

The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) released a unanimous decision amending the rules governing design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor overhead power and communication lines. The 16 amendments are...more

Harper Review: Implications for networks businesses

The Final Harper Competition Policy Review Report (Harper Review) was released on 31 March 2015. We set out below the key potential implications for networks businesses....more

Power Surge: TCPA Litigation and the Energy Industry

Few industries have been spared from the recent wave of class actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The energy sector is no exception. ...more

FCC Forbears “For Now” From Requiring Universal Service Contribution From Broadband Providers

Section 254(d) of the Act requires providers of “telecommunications services” to contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is used to subsidize telephone and broadband service in high-cost areas, for...more

FCC Releases Full Text of Order Preempting State Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband

On March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released the text of its order preempting provisions of North Carolina and Tennessee law that allow municipalities to provide broadband service but otherwise limit the...more

Impact of Reclassification on Pole Attachments

The Order recognizes that the deployment of communications networks and broadband infrastructure depends heavily on access to utility poles on reasonable rates, terms and conditions. Accordingly, the Order declined to...more

Special Legal Challenges in Reclassifying Wireless Broadband As a “Telecommunications Service”

As noted in the main text, the Order’s analysis of wireless broadband proceeds in two steps. First, as noted there, the Order reviews the technical and market characteristics of broadband Internet access service (BIAS) in...more

FCC Opens Utility and Telephone Poles to Google

The Federal Communications Commission has finally released its long awaited Open Internet Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order establishing a new policy on the status of broadband Internet access service...more

No Slow Lanes, No Fast Lanes: FCC Adopts New Regulations Treating Internet as a Public Utility

Should your Internet service provider be regulated in the same manner as your telephone service provider? Despite how quaint this question might sound now that many consumers bundle their ISP, telephone and television service...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

President Obama’s 2015 Priorities Include Cybersecurity

During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress “to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s...more

Focus on Regulatory Law - December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulatory Authorities - Energy - Public Economy Law - Contracts - Public Health - Comparative Law - Excerpt from Regulatory Authorities: French...more

Environmental Branding in Social Media

For the last three years, I have been the Vice Chair of Social Media for the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Air Quality Committee. The position requires posting developments in the law...more

Energy Tax Alert: Congress Extends Biofuel Incentives

Congress this week passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which extends a number of expired or expiring tax provisions through the end of 2014. The President is expected to sign the Act soon. The Act extends a number...more

FCC Delays Vote on Net Neutrality Laws

Last month, President Obama urged the FCC to “reclassify consumer broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act – while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to...more

California Public Utilities Commission to Approve Grant Program to Promote Broadband Internet for Public Housing

Application Submission Scheduled for Mid-December Through Mid-January - The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to approve the California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Broadband Grant Guidelines...more

Cable Company Announces FCPA Internal Investigation Near Completion

Just a month after announcing its internal investigation of possible FCPA violations, news reports indicate that a major cable company’s review will be completed or substantially completed by the first quarter of 2015. ...more

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