The United States Federal Communications Commission

The United States Federal Communications Commission is an independent federal agency established by the Communications Act of 1934. The Commission is charged with regulating interstate and international... more +
The United States Federal Communications Commission is an independent federal agency established by the Communications Act of 1934. The Commission is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, wire, satellite, and cable. less -
News & Analysis as of

Net Neutrality, Citizens United, and Diminishing Democracy?

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed earlier this year that broadband internet companies could legally charge content providers for access to internet “fast lanes,” it was considered by some as a...more

Record Actions Force Companies to Reevaluate How They Protect Consumers

Last week the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced that Verizon agreed to pay a record US$7.4 million to settle an investigation related to the company’s treatment of consumer personal information. Specifically, the Commission...more

FCC Announces Record $7.4 Million Settlement for Failure to Provide CPNI “Opt-Out” Notices to Customers

On Tuesday, September 3, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it had entered into a consent decree with Verizon, under which Verizon will pay $7.4 million to the U.S. Treasury for violating the FCC’s “Customer...more

FCC Announces Regulatory Fees Due for FY 2014

The FCC has released its annual Report and Order showing the regulatory fees due for the 2014 fiscal year. The due date is Sept. 23, 2014. The fees are intended to recover the Commission's cost of operations, estimated to be...more

The FCC’s declaratory ruling re TCPA vicarious liability – one year later, trends and takeaways

A year ago, we reported on the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling that addressed the issue of whether parties who did not actually place telemarketing robocalls could be either directly or vicariously liable for calls made on their...more

TCPA Hot Issues: Is the Scope of Consent Unlimited?

What constitutes valid consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act? A hot issue in TCPA litigation is the scope of consent necessary to place automated calls to consumers where the consumer has provided a cell phone...more

FCC Letter Brief Suggests That Faxes and Phone Calls are Different for Purposes of Direct Liability Under the TCPA

At the invitation of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the FCC recently filed a letter brief in Palm Beach Golf Center-Boca, Inc. v. Sarris, No. 13-14013 (11th Cir.). The letter brief took the position that defendants...more

New FCC Rules for Medical Body Area Networks

On August 21, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released an Order with new and clarified rules to foster the development and deployment of Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs). The Order provides more...more

Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Swaps/Sales Spark Thousands of Filings at the FCC; Responses Due Sept. 23

The proposed merger of the two largest cable operators in the country, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and the related system swaps and sales involving Charter Communications, have generated an enormous amount of press...more

Feds Announce Application Process for Rural Broadband Experiments

On August 19th, the Federal Communications Commission released a public notice detailing the application process for entities interested in participating in the rural broadband experiments. The notice outlines specific...more

New Opportunities for California Arise from Mega Cable Merger

In an earlier post, we talked about the FCC’s review of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger heating up with more than 65,000 comments filed this week. Folks in California may be interested to know that the California Public...more

CPUC Review of Comcast-TWC Merger Gives Cities & Schools Opportunity to Improve Broadband Services

The California Public Utilities Commission has decided to focus on the cost and availability of broadband services in its review of the proposed merger between the two largest cable and broadband providers in the state:...more

FCC Establishes Application Procedures for Rural Broadband Experiments – Application Deadline Set for Oct. 14

On August 19, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released a public notice establishing the process for applying for support under the Rural Broadband Experiments program. Applications under this program must be submitted...more

For Whom the Ring Tones: TCPA Litigation and the Insurance Industry

Insurance companies are increasingly the subject of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits. Any insurance company that communicates with its customers, job applicants, and others by phone or text using an automated...more

In The New Landscape of TCPA Litigation, No Industry Is Safe

In recent years, the number of private actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA” or the “Act”) has risen sharply, but perhaps more concerning is that litigants are using the Act to target an...more

FCC to Proceed with Revised Special Access Data Collection Effort Following OMB Approval

On Aug.15, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the FCC’s proposed special access services data collection plan, subject to several modifications that limit the initial scope of the plan. The FCC’s special...more

Sixth Circuit Prints Out Victory for Recipients of Fax-Blasting

An unsolicited fax comes into your business, but via your computer’s network, not on an old-fashioned fax machine. Nothing prints out on paper, but someone still has to deal with the unwanted advertisement. What’s been...more

Capital One to Pay Largest TCPA Settlement on Record

Capital One Financial Corp. (“Capital One”) and three collection agencies have agreed to pay one of the largest settlement amounts in history — $75.5 million — to end a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the...more

FCC Seeks Comment on Petition Concerning Prior Express Consent

On August 1, 2014, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition filed by Santander Consumer USA, Inc. (“Santander”), which requests an expedited declaratory ruling from the FCC to clarify the meaning of “prior...more

A Pending Supreme Court Case and an FCC Rulemaking May Impact How Local Planning Agencies Handle Wireless Facilities

As wireless towers and other facilities continue to sprout at a rapid pace, regulations that balance your community’s needs and those of wireless providers must keep up. Local governments and their planners should watch two...more

7 important lessons from past FCC contest cases

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has brought a number of cases against broadcasters who conduct or advertise a contest on air. These cases range from failure to accurately disclose the end date for a sweepstakes, to a station’s...more

Court Rejects Broad Definition of ‘Autodialer’ Under TCPA

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently addressed a critical threshold issue in cases brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act arising out of text messages or calls to...more

FCC Seeks Comment on Petitions Concerning the FCC’s Rule on Opt-Out Notices for Fax Advertisements

On July 25, 2014, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on five petitions, filed by American Caresource Holdings, Inc. (“ACH”), CARFAX, Inc.(“CARFAX”), UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (“UnitedHealth”), MedLearning, Inc. and...more

FCC Soliciting Comments on Expanding Online Public File Requirements to Cable TV, Satellite and Radio Broadcasters

In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required broadcast television stations to begin uploading all of their public files to an online FCC database. At the time, however, the FCC declined to expand that...more

TCPA Reform Gains Congressional Support

Industry efforts to persuade the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify its rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) recently received support from a group of 15 members of the U.S. House of...more

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