News & Analysis as of

Defining the Lines on Consumer Protection in the Broadband Era: What the Consumer Watchdog Order and the FCC-FTC Sign MOU Mean

In the last few weeks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the “Commission”) has taken two significant steps to further clarify its role as an agency charged with protecting consumers. The first instance was a...more

FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee Recommends Open Internet Consumer Disclosures

On November 3, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) issued consumer disclosure recommendations that–subject to bureau-level review and approval–will enable...more

Government Contract: How Can a Subcontractor Get Paid?

G4S Technology LLC v. US, 779 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2015) – A subcontractor worked on construction of wireless broadband networks for rural communities that was funded in part by a loan to the prime contractor from a US...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

New FCC Rulemaking Explores Flexible Wireless Operations Above 24 GHz

Earlier today, October 22, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to explore new regulatory frameworks, including flexible licensing schemes, for mobile and fixed wireless...more

FCC Provides Application Details for TV Stations Participating in Reverse Incentive Auction

In previous advisories dated Aug. 6, 2015 and Aug. 13, 2015, we provided an overview of the FCC’s incentive auction due to begin next year. The FCC has now released a lengthy Public Notice describing the application...more

FCC Appears to Decline Action on Edge Provider’s Informal Complaint

The FCC has apparently declined to take further action on an informal complaint filed earlier this year by a self-identified Edge Provider, although it is unclear that the FCC’s action related to the merits of the complaint....more

Bureau Settles Rio Verde Wireless Notice of Apparent Liability, Further Reminds Providers of Form 477 Obligations

On October 7, 2015, the Enforcement Bureau settled a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) with Rio Verde Wireless (Rio Verde or the Company) for failing to timely file its Form 477 and for failing to answer the Bureau’s...more

Congress Grabs Reins on Spectrum

Nowhere is the opportunity greater to promote broadband deployment than in the wireless sector. As our society increasingly goes mobile, devices that were once limited to voice have become major conduits for access to...more

Advertising Law - September 2015 #2

FTC Reviews Kids’ Apps for Privacy Progress - Three years after conducting a survey on apps directed to children, the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation decided to check back with...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

Landmark Case for Abuse of Personal Data

In the September 9th landmark decision, the Hong Kong Magistrates' Court convicted Hong Kong Broadband Network ("HKBN") of a criminal offence for failing to comply with the direct marketing provisions of the Personal Data...more

FCC Shows Hand on Regulation of Edge Providers

In a prior post, we commented on how the recent expansion of the FCC’s authority to regulate the privacy practices of Internet service providers (ISPs) has ignited calls for further expansion of the FCC’s authority to cover...more

FCC Public Notice Provides Details for Incentive Auction

As noted in our recent advisory on this subject, the FCC adopted procedures for next year’s scheduled incentive auction at its open meeting on Aug. 6. The FCC has now released the details in a 156-page Public Notice,...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

Communications Networks – update on UK and EU regulatory reviews

In March, Ofcom announced its decision to undertake a strategic review of the telecommunications sector, having not carried out such a review since 2005. In parallel, the EU is currently reviewing regulation within the...more

FCC Proposes Record $100 Million Penalty for Alleged Violations of Open Internet Transparency Rule

If you work for a broadband service provider and haven’t recently reviewed your FCC-mandated network management “transparency” disclosures posted on your website, we suggest you make that the next thing you do after reading...more

Are Your Disclosures Sufficient Under the “Enhanced” Transparency Rule?

Although not yet in effect, broadband providers should begin to consider how best to implement the FCC’s “enhanced” transparency (disclosure) requirements. As explained in our recent advisory, the Order retains the FCC’s 2010...more

Edge Provider Files First Interconnection Complaint

What appears to be the first complaint by an edge provider regarding interconnection has been submitted to the FCC. In the complaint, dated June 22, 2015, Commercial Network Services (CNS) identifies itself as an edge...more

FCC becomes another active regulator over data security through $3.5M settlement with two telecom companies

The FCC has announced that it will receive a settlement payment of $3.5 million from two telecommunications companies—TerraCom Inc. and YourTel America for allegations around the companies’ failure to safeguard customers’...more

FCC Seeks Comment on Small Business Exemption From Open Internet Enhanced Transparency Requirements

The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is seeking comment on the “Small Business Exemption from the enhanced transparency requirements adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order. The exemption is currently in effect...more

Comment Dates Announced for Small Business Exemption to the Enhanced Transparency Rule

On July 6, 2015, a summary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Small Business Exemption to the Open Internet Order’s Enhanced Transparency Rule was published in the Federal Register....more

FCC Open Internet Advisory Procedures - Possibilities and Potential Pitfalls

As we head into this long holiday weekend, the FCC gives us something to think about. To seek guidance or not to seek guidance, that is the question. Today, the FCC released its Open Internet Advisory Opinion Procedures....more

FCC Fines AT&T $100,000,000 for Violation of Transparency Rule

In a recent enforcement action, the FCC fined AT&T $100,000,000 for violations of the Open Internet Transparency Rule (“Transparency Rule”). The Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) for Forfeiture and Order stated that AT&T...more

FCC Adopts New Rules, Proposes Further Reforms for Lifeline Program

Last week, the FCC released its second major order in the Lifeline reform proceeding: Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order...more

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