Communications Act of 1934

News & Analysis as of

FCC says blocking FCC-approved Wi-Fi hotspots is “patently illegal” and imposes $750,000 fine on Smart City.

Blocking Wi-Fi connections is “patently unlawful”. On August 18, 2015, the FCC announced a $750,000 civil penalty and formal Consent Decree with Smart City Holdings for blocking consumers’ personal Wi-Fi access at...more

TCPA Trouble Continues: FCC Slams Lyft and First National Bank for Terms of Service Requiring Consent

Most of the attention involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has centered on the stream of class actions around the country. It is important to remember that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and...more

FCC Settles First Data Security Enforcement Action

On July 9, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission settled its first data security case with two related telecommunications carriers – TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. – for $3.5 million. The settlement resolves...more

Third Circuit Upholds FTC’s Authority in Wyndham Case

On August 24, 2015, the Third Circuit, in a highly anticipated ruling, upheld a 2014 New Jersey District Court decision that the FTC has authority under section 5 of the FTC Act to regulate “unfair” data security practices...more

Today’s Hot Topic: Sponsorship Identification in Advertising

From time to time I like to remind clients of specific network guidelines to keep in mind when developing advertising. One such guideline involves sponsorship identification. Per the network guidelines, advertising must...more

TerraCom & YourTel Reach $3.5 Million Settlement With FCC over Alleged Privacy, Data Security, and Lifeline Violations

On July 9th, the Enforcement Bureau (EB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) reached a $3.5 million Consent Decree to resolve an investigation into whether TerraCom, Inc. (TerraCom) and YourTel...more

Open Internet Rules Become Effective Today, June 12

On June 12, 2015, the Open Internet Order's (Order) three bright line rules and the new “general conduct” standard will become effective. The reclassification of broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a...more

The USA FREEDOM Act Heightens the Need for Carriers to Examine their Data Retention Practices

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Barack Obama signed the USA FREEDOM Act into law. Among other reforms, the USA FREEDOM Act adopts a series of modifications to federal foreign intelligence gathering statutes and procedures to...more

Amendment To The FCC’s Effective Competition Rules: Implementation Of Section 111 Of STELAR

On June 2, 2015, the FCC adopted an Order implementing Section 111 of the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), which required the FCC to streamline its longstanding effective competition rules for small cable...more

"The FCC Acts (Again) on Net Neutrality, Awaits Court Challenges"

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) recently issued its long-awaited network neutrality regulations, which if allowed to stand will have far-reaching implications for media, content, broadband and the...more

Open Internet Rules Hit the Federal Register, Triggering Effective Dates and Appeal Deadlines

On April 13, 2015, a notice and summary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) seminal Open Internet Order (the Order) was published in the Federal Register. ...more

The Basics of Net Neutrality – What 'You Oughta Know'

A brief background of Net Neutrality and, in the words of Alanis Morisette, what “You Oughta Know.” ...more

The WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce

At the 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in December 2013, Ministers adopted a Decision that the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce should be “substantially invigorated.” The Work Programme merits attention in light of...more

FCC Shifts Net Neutrality into High Gear

On March 12, 2015, the FCC published its long-anticipated Net Neutrality order. The Final Rules stem from the question asked by the FCC in its May Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: “What is the right public policy to ensure that...more

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

The White House released its much anticipated legislative proposal on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act (CPBRA) that was first floated in 2012. The CPBRA, if enacted (which seems unlikely before 2016), would provide...more

Cyberspace Oddity: The FCC Regulates Internet Services as Common Carrier Telecommunications Services, “Protecting and Promoting...

The FCC voted recently 3-2 along party lines to promulgate new rules necessary to protect the “Open Internet.” At the core of the Commission’s action lies its decision to reclassify Internet services as a...more

Alert: FCC Re-Adopts its Network Neutrality Rules

In broad terms, the FCC brought back the rules that the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned in early 2014, and justified its legal authority to do so by reclassifying broadband Internet access as a common carrier service subject...more

Communications and Technology 2015 Forecast

Regulators and legislators focused on the communications and technology sectors have fertile ground for issues consideration in 2015. In this forecast, the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP team shares its views on issues to...more

FCC Chairman Wheeler Outlines Proposal for Net Neutrality Regulations

On Feb. 4, 2015, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler published an opinion piece on Wired outlining new Net Neutrality regulations coming from the FCC. Net Neutrality is a hot button topic, and the...more

FCC Forges New Ground on Enforcement of Data Security Duties under Communications Act

On October 24, 2014, in its first data security enforcement action outside of the CPNI context, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture of...more

"Title II or Bust: The FCC Wrestles With Net Neutrality"

Over the past few weeks, a number of significant developments have impacted the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) ongoing proceeding regarding network neutrality. On November 10, President Barack Obama surprised many...more

FCC Proposes $10M Privacy Breach Fine Against Two Telecommunications Companies

On October 24, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced that it intends to fine two telecommunications companies $10 million for storing confidential personal information of up to 305,000 customers in a...more

FCC: The New Data Security Sheriff In Town

Data security seems to make headlines nearly every week, but last Friday, a new player entered the ring. The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took its first foray into the regulation of data security, an area that...more

FCC Will Maintain And Enhance Broadband Transparency - Agency Also Will Reinstate Internet No-Blocking Rules

On May 15, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in its Open Internet proceeding. The Notice was issued in response to the recent federal court ruling in Verizon v. FCC which...more

"FCC Launches Broad Network Neutrality Rulemaking"

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) launched a proceeding to develop new network neutrality regulations that would prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking or discriminating...more

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