Our interdisciplinary Communications, Technology and Media team is comprised of lawyers with extensive experience in telecommunications, broadband, cable, broadcast, spectrum matters, program distribution, tower and facilities deployment, and all facets of the Internet and the broadband-enabled, Internet-of-things technologies that drive our connected economy. Our team also includes experienced telecommunications litigators adept at translating complex technologies and regulations to juries, judges, and arbitrators.
Our clients run the gamut from well-established international telecommunications providers, media companies, rural broadband providers, and equipment manufacturers to emerging entrepreneurs and spectrum innovators. Among our sector clients are:
- Mid-size cable, broadband and Internet service providers
- Rural wireless carriers, and a major rural wireless trade association
- Television and radio broadcasters
- Independent video programmers
- Incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers, telecom resellers, and VoIP providers
- Managed network and business data services providers
- International subsea cable operators
- Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs), Mobile Virtual Network Aggregators (MVNAs), and mobile satellite broadband operators
- Data centers
- Technology and hosted platform providers
- Communication device and consumer electronics manufacturers
- Large enterprise customers, electric utilities, real estate developers, and other large-scale users of communications-related services and spectrum
- Venture capital and private equity firms, hedge funds, lenders and other investors in the sector.
- National and International SMS, MMS, and RCS Platform Providers
- GPS Device Manufacturers
- International VoIP Providers
We publish Rural Spectrum Scanner, a popular online industry newsletter for rural and independent telecommunications providers, and the Communications, Tech & Media Review, a blog which tracks legal, policy and business developments in the communications, technology and media sectors. Our lawyers also contribute to the TCPA Defense Force, which monitors the latest developments related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
As former chief legal officers of sector companies, and former lawyers for the FCC, the US Department of Justice, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the White House, we have been at the forefront of the convergence of technology and communications and the explosive growth in the sector, providing a full range of services to clients across the communications, media and technology landscape.
Our team possesses a depth of experience litigating telecommunications disputes in federal and state courts and before regulatory agencies, including cases brought by competitive entrants against incumbents for unjust and unreasonable practices that adversely affect competition. In addition, the firm serves as litigation counsel to U.S. telecommunications investors in an arbitration brought against a foreign government pursuant to a free trade agreement.
Examples of work
Telecom compliance and policy advocacy
- Represents a leading national trade association advancing the interests of rural wireless carriers
- Advises cable television operators, local exchange carriers, wireless providers, and managed network providers on the full range of compliance-related matters and ongoing regulatory and reporting requirements
- Provides strategic and regulatory counsel associated with new service and product offerings in the broadband and telecom space , such as IP-based applications and platforms integrating voice, messaging and video capabilities with non-telecom services and functionalities
- Advises a coalition of competitive carriers regarding a proposed intercarrier compensation rulemaking.
Television and radio licensing, facilities authorizations, compliance, and policy advocacy
- Advises and represents broadcasters on allocation and assignment matters regarding spectrum resources devoted to radio and television broadcasters . For example:
- Advised broadcasters on FCC rule changes enabling cross-service licensing of FM frequency translators by AM radio stations to expand service to their local communities; and
- Assists television broadcast stations in the FCC’s reverse spectrum auction and repack by which stations in the television band are being moved to new channel allocations and transmitter locations
- Successfully defended numerous FM translator stations against spurious claims of interference and effectively protected full-service station listening audiences from destructive signal encroachment
- On behalf of ten state broadcaster associations , created a new service for ensuring compliance with new FCC Equal Employment Opportunity rules
- Represents broadcasters on political advertising and access matters, advising on regulatory compliance issues associated with candidate news coverage and advertising and access demands by individuals running for federal office.
- Represents clients in enforcement proceedings associated with FCC equipment authorization rules involving consumer electronics devices . For example:
- represents a leading manufacturer of Wi-Fi routers in connection with the successful resolution of a complex FCC enforcement matter, and obtained a no adverse action result for a large electronics manufacturer cited for alleged production line quality control failures and the distribution of non-compliant products
- Represents clients in enforcement matters, including alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act , alleged number “spoofing” and “robocalling”
- Crafts requests for waivers of FCC rules to demonstrate that strict enforcement of particular rules disserves the public interest and harms public policy
- Represents competitive carriers in FCC informal and formal complaint proceedings regarding alleged anticompetitive practices
- Represent carriers regarding the FCC’s tariff investigation procedures.
Government support programs
- Represents high-cost Universal Service (USF) Fund recipients with FCC, Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and state regulatory compliance and reporting issues . Assists carriers with the transition from Universal Service Fund (USF) support to Connect America Fund funding and with Mobility Fund and Connect America Fund reverse auction participation and compliance
- Provides legal support for USAC audits , and legal and business counsel related to structuring companies to best utilize high-cost support mechanisms
- Represents providers across the sector on USF contribution compliance matters
- Conducts comprehensive annual seminars and training sessions for broadband providers on the intricacies of the Schools and Libraries E-rate program
- Handles appeals of adverse E-rate decisions, successfully returning millions of dollars to Billed Entities and Service Providers
- Represents entities that are USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers and grant recipients in application for and compliance with RUS loan and grant awards, including loan restructurings.
Spectrum auctions, sale and lease transactions, licensing
- Represents wireless providers and other FCC licensees in spectrum sale and spectrum lease transactions, including a large national license holder in numerous transactions involving the sale and lease of spectrum to critical infrastructure companies , such as electric utilities and railroads
- Developed and implemented successful auction strategies for hundreds of small and rural companies seeking spectrum in FCC auctions
- Represents hundreds of wireless providers and enterprise users in FCC licensing matters.
Network services and facilities agreements
- Represents telecom and broadband providers and FCC license holders in negotiations for interconnection, access to transport facilities and circuit capacity
- Represents enterprise customers in connection with managed network and broadband services agreements
- Represents victims of international toll fraud in reducing liability and revising contracts to minimize future exposure
- Negotiates network services and facilities agreements with telecom and Internet service providers for educational users , such as matters resulting in K-12 schools saving millions of dollars annually for the delivery of high speed broadband for their students
- Represents commercial and residential real estate developers and facility operators in obtaining and providing communications services.
Telecom and wireless facilities deployment and permitting
- Advises wireless carriers and tower owners on all aspects of site acquisition and compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory and zoning requirements, as well as associated leasing activities. For example:
- Represented a major tower company in the development of company policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance in connection with the acquisition and construction of hundreds of tower sites
- Assisted a wide-area wireless broadband provider in an accelerated build-out project , negotiating space on over 150 towers
- Represents submarine cable operators in all aspects of local, state and federal permitting necessary to land and operate network facilities in the US.
Equipment authorization/new technology
- Represents equipment manufacturers on complex equipment authorization and compliance issues associated with launch of new products, engaging and working closely with outside electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) consultants
- Advises US and foreign telecommunications product manufacturers on US spectrum requirements for sale and use of new products in the US, such as the representation of a major US manufacturer introducing new first responder technology developed by an Israeli developer to the US market and obtaining waivers of spectrum requirements for deployment in the US
- Represents GPS device manufacturer regarding license modifications requested by new market entrant that could disrupt or degrade precision GPS services.
Video programming distribution, US and international copyright, and programming accessibility
- Advises video programmers on compliance-related matters and distribution and vendor agreements and negotiations involving distribution via cable, satellite, broadcast, and online distribution platforms
- Advises video programming providers in connection with the launch of new programming networks and services
- Launched and continues to advise a cooperative of cable television operators in the purchase of video programming
- Handles music performance rights issues for video distributors , such as the successful conclusion of a multi-year multi-national dispute over the cost and licensing of music performing rights in US programming distributed by a UK cable television company
- Provides guidance to online and over-the-top video programming providers on the applicability of FCC and US Copyright Office regulations and policy
- Advises video programmers on closed captioning compliance across traditional and IP-based distribution platforms.
M&A transactions and financings across the communications and media sectors
- Has served as transactional and regulatory counsel in numerous complex investment, financing and sale transactions across the communications and media sectors, including in connection with Chapter 11 proceedings, negotiating and documenting the transaction, handling due diligence, and obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals.
Cybersecurity compliance planning and support for communications networks
- Counsels communications providers on cybersecurity best practices and develops procedures for handling cyber incidents, breach recovery and response protocols Works with numerous wireless carriers, Internet service providers, and telecommunications carriers to develop written procedures for preventing and handling cyber incidents , advising on cyber insurance issues, formulating data breach notification procedures, creating processes for handling public relations and working to limit liability.
- Represent competitive carriers in federal litigation arising from breach of tariff and failure to pay intercarrier compensation.
- Represent carriers in pursuing claims for anticompetitive business practices , breach of operating agreement, unjust enrichment, and other state law claims
- Represent carriers and other companies in informal and formal complaint proceedings at the FCC, including proceeding initiated as a result of a primary jurisdiction referral
- Represent U.S. investors in pursuing claims against foreign governments for expropriation of telecommunications investments pursuant to international investment treaties.
Telemarketing compliance/Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- Advises companies on Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance risk and mitigation strategies across calling and texting platforms and business units, including in connection with outsourced calling services and platform agreements
- Advises companies on the creation of TCPA compliance programs, including call centers and text message platform providers
- Defends individual and class action TCPA litigation , including cases referred to the FCC pursuant to the primary jurisdiction doctrine.