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

FCC Releases Text of Wi-Fi-Focused E-Rate Reform Order and Further NPRM

Last Thursday, July 24, the FCC issued the 176-page text of its E-rate Modernization Order (“Order”), which it adopted on July 11 in a sharply divided and partisan 3-2 vote. The Order includes a Further Notice of Proposed...more

The FCC’s contest regulations: A primer

Our recent post about the possibility that the Federal Communications Commission will no longer require broadcasters to disclose contest rules in their advertisements brought several questions from readers. Most of the...more

MVPD Annual EEO Program Reports and SIS Responses Due Sept. 30, 2014

The FCC’s equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) rules for multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPD”) require MVPD employment units with six or more full-time employees to file an Annual EEO Program Report, FCC Form...more

Examples of Social Media in M&A Transactions

In April 2014, the SEC provided guidance on the use of social media in M&A and other contexts. Companies have begun to cautiously make use of the guidance but the flood gates haven’t exactly opened....more

FCC Initiates Rural Broadband Experiments Program: $100 Million to be Disbursed to Winning Bidders

On July 14, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its latest Connect America Fund Order, which sets forth the parameters of its planned “rural broadband experiments” program. As detailed below, the...more

Ninth Circuit Thinks Inside the Bun, Applies Traditional Agency Principles To Dismiss Putative TCPA Class Action Claims Against...

In Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp., No. 12-56458 (9th Cir. July 2, 2014) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Taco Bell, one defendant in a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone...more

FCC Allocates $100 Million for Rural Broadband Experiments –Agency Will Reward Providers That Can Deliver Broadband at Speeds up...

On Friday, July 11, 2014 the FCC adopted an order implementing its planned “Rural Broadband Experiments”—a test-case program for disbursing subsidies to competitive providers that can deploy broadband to unserved areas. Our...more

FCC Announces Effective Date for CAF Program Reforms and Seeks Comments on CAF Program Proposed Rules

On July 9, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) published the Connect America Fund Program (“CAF”) Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Seventh Order on...more

Comments Due August 25 on Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Spin Off Transactions

If you haven’t been closely monitoring developments in the FCC’s review of the Comcast – Time Warner Cable – Charter merger and spin-off transactions, then you may have missed some critical announcements. ...more

D. Mass. Grants Summary Judgment to Plaintiff, Finds Predictive Dialer to be an ATDS

The District of Massachusetts recently entered summary judgment in favor of a plaintiff after deferring to FCC statements that purport to expand the definition of an automated telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) to include...more

Comments Due August 25 on Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Spin Off Transactions

FCC Sets Up Teams to Review Transactions - Last week the FCC made two important announcements concerning its review of the applications filed for approval of the Comcast – Time Warner Cable – Charter cable merger and...more

FCC Clarifies TCPA Consent Standard for Collection Calls to Cell Phones

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently clarified its view on when someone has provided “prior express consent” to receive prerecorded or autodialed collection calls to his or her cell phone as required by the...more

FCC Requires Closed Captioning of IP Video Clips

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Second Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order” or “FNPRM”) requiring closed captioning of certain video clips...more

UPDATE: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari For Challenge to Regulation of Speech on Public Broadcast Stations

Two weeks ago, we speculated that the Court would grant certiorari in Minority Television Project, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (9th Cir. 2013) 736 F.3d 1192 (en banc) (lead opn. of McKeown, J.). In the case, a...more

FCC Letter Brief to Second Circuit Narrowly Construes Recent TCPA Guidance

We reported last spring on two FCC declaratory rulings, GroupMe and Cargo Airline, that included some broad, business-friendly interpretations of rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), under which...more

Call Me Maybe?: The New TCPA Position Announced by The Federal Communications Commission in Nigro v. Mercantile Adjustment Bureau

As federal courts continue to grapple with the explosion of litigation brought by plaintiffs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is increasingly being called...more

Broadband Providers Must Guard Against Subsidized Overbuilds as FCC Readies $9 Billion to Deploy Broadband to “Unserved” Areas

Phase II of the FCC’s Connect America Fund (“CAF”) program will disburse up to $9 billion in support (i.e., subsidies) over the next five years to price cap incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”). This support will be...more

Federal Court Finds That TCPA Plaintiff Consented To Debt Collection Calls by Providing Phone Number On Hospital Admission Form

On June 25, Judge Michael Anello of the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of defendant Sharp Healthcare (“Sharp”) in Hudson v. Sharp Healthcare, 13cv1807-MMA, a purported class action alleging...more

Supreme Court To Consider Cert. For FCC Regulation Speech On Public Broadcasting Stations

Federal law prohibits non-commercial broadcasters from airing paid advertisements (a) for for-profit entities, (b) issues of public importance or interest, and (c) political candidates. In Minority Television Project, Inc....more

Frequently Asked Questions About Net Neutrality

Net neutrality has been a contentious policy issue for many years. Like many such issues, it is subject to political spin, conflicting academic analyses, and industry and consumer group advocacy. As a result, much of the...more

FDA Advises it Will Not Enforce Regulatory Controls for Low-Risk Medical Information Technology Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), recently issued a draft report...more

Broadcast Station Reminder: Quarterly Filings and Requirements: Issues/Programs Lists; Children’s Programming; Commercial Limits;...

By July 10, 2014, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare a list of important issues facing their communities of license, and the programs aired during April, May and June...more

Capital Thinking: Technology and Communications

Legislative Activity Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2014 Introduced in the House and the Senate Last Tuesday, June 17, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-California)...more

Will the FCC allow online disclosure of contest rules? Stay tuned

Anyone who watches television or listens to the radio has heard a fast-talking announcer race through the abbreviated rules for a sweepstakes or contest . Or perhaps you’ve seen a copy of the official rules for only a second...more

FCC Regulations On Phone Call Captioning Held To Be Arbitrary and Capricious

On June 20, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated two FCC regulations on phone call captioning technology designed for the hearing impaired, holding that the rules were made arbitrarily and capriciously in violation...more

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