Telecommunications

News & Analysis as of

Lifeline Disbursements Continue Decline in 2014

Data released by USAC in its 2014 Annual Report show an 11 percent decline in Lifeline disbursements from 2013 and a 27 percent decline from 2012 – the program’s peak funding year. These figures, illustrated in the table...more

Additional Recent Actions Added To UDAAP Database

The CFPB has issued new enforcement actions that include allegations of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) in connection with consumer financial products. We’ve updated our UDAAP Database with the most...more

Wake-Up Call: Second Circuit Declares NSA’s Mass Telephone Surveillance Program Illegal; Defers Injunction While Congress Ponders...

Whatever your opinion of Edward Snowden, the shockwaves from his leaks of classified material continue to roil all three branches of the federal government. The latest wave broke last week when the United States Court of...more

Categories 1 and 2 to be Fully Funded for 2015-2016 Funding Year

For the first time in many years, the FCC has announced that it anticipates being able to fund all E-rate funding requests. Last Friday, the FCC issued a Public Notice that states that the estimated demand for Category 1...more

Spotlight on Vendor Management: “Brother’s Keeper” Enforcement Pattern Becoming the Norm

Two regulatory enforcement matters announced in April offer a view into the current mindset of regulators in the ever-evolving world of vendor management. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $25...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Warrantless Cell Site Data Constitutional

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting as a full panel, has ruled that law enforcement may acquire historical cell site data information (i.e., past location information) from wireless telecommunications...more

FCC Sets Stage for Supplemental Changes to the Federal Telecom Pole Attachment Rate Formula

Today, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on a Petition for Reconsideration filed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), COMPTEL, and tw telecom...more

Fortress Russia – The Russian Data Localization Law

On July 21, 2014, Russia adopted Federal Law No. 242-FZ, “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation for Clarification of the Procedure of Personal Data Processing in Information and Telecommunication...more

Red Notice Newsletter - April 2015

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month in anticorruption developments, Canadian transportation giant faces scrutiny for alleged bribery in South...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

House Passes the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act

Following Wednesday’s approval of the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R.1560) (“PCNA”), the House of Representatives passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (H.R. 1731) (“NCPAA”) on Thursday, a move...more

House Passes New Cybersecurity Legislation Amidst Growing Pressure from Industry

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R.1560) (“PCNA”) yesterday, amidst growing pressure from industry to enact legislation that would help companies harden key infrastructure and respond...more

Net Neutrality Applies to Cell Networks

In February, the FCC enacted new rules governing network neutrality that could have a profound influence on the telecommunications industry. The FCC’s new rules will extend its current purview and will encompass cell networks...more

Telecoms File Lawsuit Challenging Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Register officially published the FCC’s new rules governing net neutrality on Monday, April 13, 2015, and the new rules will take effect 60 days following the date of publication. As anticipated, AT&T and the...more

Are eFax services taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts?

While Massachusetts’ expansion of its sales tax to include computer-related services was repealed within three months of its enactment, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue continues to take a close look at sales treated...more

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

USAC Releases 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines for the Lifeline Program

The Department of Health and Human Services released an update to the federal poverty guidelines (“FPG”) for 2015 for the 48 states and DC, Alaska, and Hawaii. In order to qualify for the Lifeline program, an applicant must...more

FCC Enters Into $25 Million Settlement Following Cell Phone Carrier Data Breach

On April 8, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $25 million settlement with an international telecommunications carrier concerning the unauthorized release of the personal information of nearly 280,000...more

This Changes Everything: The FCC Open Internet Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order

I. Not Your Father’s Broadband - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 12, 2015, released a new template for future regulation of a basket of mass market retail services it has named “broadband Internet...more

The FCC Just Upped the Ante for Communications Providers and the FTC with a $25 Million Fine, a Detailed Information Security...

The FCC has been warning communications companies for months that protecting consumer privacy and information security is a top priority, and the recent announcement of a $25 million settlement with AT&T over its alleged...more

Oklahoma Commission Revises Universal Service Rules

On March 12, 2015, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) adopted revisions to its rules relating to administration of federal and state universal service programs, including Lifeline. While the revisions generally consist...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

FCC urged to clarify TCPA regulations for sake of companies and consumers

“We can’t paint all legitimate companies with the brush that every call from a private company is a form of harassment. It is time for the [Federal Communications Commission (FCC)] to act to provide clear rules of the road...more

Alert: FCC Continues Aggressive Action on Data Breaches

As noted in previous alerts, the FCC has dramatically increased its enforcement of data security practices and breaches resulting from what the FCC considers to be inadequate security measures. ...more

Alert: How businesses can prepare for the Russian data protection law

In July 2014 President Putin approved Federal Law No. 242-FZ ("On Amendments to Certain Laws of the Russian Federation in Order to Clarify the Procedure for Personal Data Processing in Information and Telecommunications...more

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