Energy & Utilities Communications & Media

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Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely: August 2016 #2

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring....more

FCC: No Additional TCPA Consent Required for Certain Calls to Utilities Customers

This month, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC” or “Commission”) issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying what type of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) consent is required for certain telephone calls and...more

FCC Fines Non-Telecom Companies for Lapse in Compliance with Wireless Rules

FCC Fines Non-Telecom Companies for Lapse in Compliance with Wireless Rules August 19, 2016 The enforcement action highlights the importance of complying with FCC rules with respect to their wireless facilities and devices....more

FCC Holds Educators and Utilities Making Certain Robo Calls Do Not Violate The TCPA

On August 4, 2016, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that schools and utilities making robo calls do not violate the TCPA under certain circumstances. The Ruling, addressed Petitions filed by Blackboard, Inc....more

FCC Outlines Exemptions from the TCPA for Schools and Utilities

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the FCC granted organizations representing schools and utilities significant relief from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act—a law that subjects callers to substantial penalties if they...more

FCC Thwarted in Efforts to Preempt State Broadband Laws

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck a major blow to the FCC’s efforts to remove barriers to broadband service and promote competition in broadband markets. In State of Tennessee v. FCC, the court...more

The FCC Clarifies Prior Express Consent Under the TCPA for Calls to Utility Company Customers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) applies in many circumstances when companies use an automatic telephone dialing system (or “autodialer”) and/or pre-recorded messages to call consumers. In those situations where...more

FCC Exempts Schools and Utilities from TCPA for Emergencies

On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling applicable to schools and utilities regarding the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to robocalls and text messages to...more

Regulators Nationwide Weigh in on CPUC Litigation

In May, we posted a blog on litigation filed by telecom providers and trade associations to prevent the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from requiring Plaintiffs to turn over competitively sensitive data to a...more

FCC Ruling Clarifies TCPA for Schools and Utilities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to communications from schools and utilities. Specifically, the Ruling...more

Power Play: Energy Utilities Score Big as FCC Approves Use of Robocalls and Texts Under the TCPA; Schools Get an Assist

Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a long-anticipated declaratory order, ruling that utility companies may make robocalls and send automated texts to their customers concerning matters closely...more

FCC OKs Certain Informational Calling and Texts by Schools and Utilities to Wireless Phones under TCPA

The FCC recently released a Declaratory Ruling with new clarifications for schools and utilities on autodialed calls and texts and pre-recorded/artificial voice calling under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") for...more

Public-Private Partnerships in Municipal Broadband Internet

Cities have long been the center of economic growth in our country, and smart cities recognize that modern infrastructure is a key threshold issue to be addressed for successful economic development....more

Arkansas Public Service Commission Adopts Comprehensive Set of Pole Attachment Rules

On June 24, 2016, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (“Commission”) adopted a comprehensive set of new pole attachment rules that apply broadly to providers of electric, telecommunications, cable television, internet...more

Internet Service a Utility in Bankruptcy? It Might Be Now.

One of the many fascinating things about restructuring work is its willingness to evolve by borrowing from other areas of the law. Just as business practices change, new financing techniques evolve, and transactions become...more

FTC Civil Penalties on the Rise—Inflation Adjustments Increase Civil Penalty Amounts

For the first time since 2009, the potential civil penalties for violating an administrative consent order under Section 5(b) of the FTC Act is going up. The maximum civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can now...more

FTC Workshop Examines Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Rooftop Solar Industry

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the rooftop solar industry—also known as solar “distributed generation.” Beyond exploring a wide...more

E-Rate Program Proposed Expansion

FCC Looking to Increase Eligibility for Reimbursement - The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on a proposal to expand what services are eligible for reimbursement under the E-rate eligible services...more

HUD and FCC Broadband Services Expansion Proposals

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FCC have released a set of proposals that could enhance public housing residents’ access to broadband services. In a three-part series of BB&K Legal Alerts, we have...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Federal Commerce Commission’s recently enacted rules that enforce “net neutrality” as to Internet Service Providers. ...more

Subpoenas and SLAPP Motions to Dismiss

If an individual or entity believes a subpoena is aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest, can it invoke the DC anti-SLAPP statute in response?  That is the question presented by a recent anti-SLAPP motion...more

Myanmar ministries announce "100-day" plans

After a landslide victory in Myanmar’s general election held on 8 November 2015, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government took office on 30 March 2016, with U Htin Kyaw named as...more

A Big Win for Internet Consumers

On June 14, 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling in United States Telecom Association, et al v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America. The...more

NESC 2017 Edition to Revise Several Rules Pertinent to Joint Use and Pole Attachments

The National Electrical Safety Code (“NESC”), published by the IEEE Standards Association (“IEEE”), is the foremost standard for constructing communications plant using existing utility pole infrastructure. For 100 years,...more

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