Energy & Utilities Communications & Media

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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

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

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