Category Archives: FCC

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Of Buckeyes and Batons Rouges: Ohio and Louisiana Adopt Comprehensive Pole Access and Attachment Rules

In recent separate actions, the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) and the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“LPSC”) adopted comprehensive pole attachment regulatory regimes intended to facilitate the deployment of broadband communications infrastructure, and level the competitive playing field for broadband providers.  Each stressed the need for reasonable and non-discriminatory access, clear access processes and … Continue Reading

Shedding Light on CFIUS: Appeals Court Holds That CFIUS Review Lacks Constitutional Due Process

In a stunning ruling issued on July 15, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) and the subsequent unwinding of the investment deprived the foreign investor of due process under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Ralls … Continue Reading

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

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 Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, could not be held vicariously liable for text messages that it … Continue Reading

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 upon to address complex questions arising from the application of this analog statute to the digital world.  The latest example is a brief amicus curiae filed … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sides with Broadcasters in Aereo Decision

In a highly-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court last week released its decision in ABC v. Aereo, holding that the transmission of over-the-air broadcast signals by Aereo’s tiny antennas constitutes a “public performance” under the federal Copyright Act.[1] Justice Breyer delivered the opinion for a divided Court. Justice Scalia dissented and was joined by Justices Thomas and … Continue Reading

North Carolina Court Issues First Decision Controlling Coop Pole Attachment Rates

This is a story of persistence and perseverance, if not patience. The cable industry finally obtained some control over skyrocketing pole attachment rates charged by cooperative utilities in North Carolina when the State’s Business Court ruled in favor of Time Warner Cable in Rutherford EMC v. Time Warner Entertainment/Advance-Newhouse Partnership on May 22, 2014. This … Continue Reading

Once More Unto the Breach: the FCC Calls for Comments on Revamping Net Neutrality Regulations

Following the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Verizon v. FCC, which struck down several key elements of the Federal Communication Commission’s 2010 Open Internet Order, the Commission yesterday released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that initiated a renewed effort to foster and protect an “open” Internet. In what is likely to become a highly-contested proceeding, … Continue Reading

The DMCA: Seeking Safe Harbor in a Sea of Troubles

Détente can be a beautiful thing.  However, as demonstrated by the recent settlement agreement between Mega-media giants Google and Viacom, achieving it can be very expensive. In 2007, Viacom filed suit against YouTube (now owned by Google) in federal court in the Southern District of New York for more than a billion dollars in damages. … Continue Reading

Sleeper “Small” Cells: The Battle Over The FCC’s Wireless Infrastructure Proceeding

As policymakers and regulators struggle to keep pace with corporate deal makers (read Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and Comcast-Netflix deal) and address the structures undergirding our Nation’s electronic communications laws, no two aspects of that undertaking (with the possible exception of cybersecurity) are more fundamental to economic vitality, competitiveness and “the pursuit of happiness” than … Continue Reading

Regulatory Reminder: Annual CVAA Compliance Certifications due April 1

Following up on an important FCC Law Blog item from 2013, entities subject to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”) should be aware that the April 1, 2014 deadline to electronically file the second annual recordkeeping certification is only a month away.  The CVAA is a far-reaching law designed to ensure that … Continue Reading

Twice Bitten But Not Shy, The FCC Is Handed The DC Circuit’s Prescription for Internet Regulation

On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC’s latest effort to mandate “net neutrality”– or promote internet “openness” – under the auspices of implementing the Communications Act.  At issue in the case is the Commission’s Open Internet Order, which imposed disclosure, anti-blocking, and anti-discrimination … Continue Reading

The Times They Are A Changin’ (Again): A How-To Guide Regarding Compliance With New FCC Regulations Mandating Prior Express Written Consent

The FCC has made significant changes to the prior express consent requirements under The Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Effective October 16, 2013, senders must obtain prior express written consent to send any text messages or to place any pre-recorded or automated calls to a residential or mobile device. Companies will also have to obtain written … Continue Reading

Film distributors will face new administrative hurdles in Argentina

Unexpectedly, the government of Argentina has decided to enforce law 23,316, enacted on May 23, 1986, regarding certain requirements for dubbing motion pictures and television programming (the “Dubbing Act”), which was only in the books and never implemented… until today. President Kirchner issued decree 933/2013, which after 27 years explains and expands the Dubbing Act … Continue Reading

Mexico’s Telecommunications’ reform ready to be signed by President Peña Nieto

On May 23, after the approval of 24 Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis, Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán and Zacatecas) the president of the Permanent Commission (Comisión Permanente) has declared constitutional the Telecommunications’ Reform and sent … Continue Reading

Sheppard Mullin Washington, D.C. Adds Three Partner Communications Practice From Hogan Lovells

WASHINGTON, DC – Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has added three partners to the firm’s Business Trial practice group and Communications team: Gardner Gillespie, Dave Thomas, and Paul Werner. Gillespie, Thomas and Werner join Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office from Hogan Lovells’ Washington office. To read the full press release click here.… Continue Reading

FCC Considers Proposal To Lift 25% Cap On Indirect Foreign Investment In Broadcast Licensees

In August 2012, the Coalition for Broadcast Investment (“CBI”), a group comprising national broadcast networks, radio and television station licensees, and community and consumer organizations, filed a letter with the FCC requesting clarification of the foreign ownership rules contained in Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act. Specifically, CBI requested clarification that “the FCC will conduct … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Advanced Communications Services Providers and Equipment Manufacturers of CVAA Recordkeeping Obligations and Compliance Certification

Recently, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding the providers and equipment manufacturers of advanced communications services (ACS) of their obligation to maintain records evidencing their efforts to comply with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). In addition, these entities are also required to submit an annual certification stating that such records … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Rules Governing WCS Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently adopted new rules governing the Wireless Communications Service (“WCS”) in the 2.3 GHz band. The new rules largely follow those proposed by AT&T and Sirius XM earlier this year and are designed to both encourage the development of new broadband services and mitigate the potential for harmful interference to … Continue Reading

FCC’s New Closed Captioning Rules Kick Into Gear

New FCC regulations on closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming have caught many by surprise even though they have been in the works for the past two years. Many of those who will be directly impacted by the new rules may still be unaware of the rapidly approaching compliance deadline of September 30, 2012. Most … Continue Reading

Proposed Easing of Satellite Export Controls Could Benefit U.S. Satellite Industry

By Curt Dombek, Brian Weimer, Dan Brooks, and Reid Whitten Since 1999, strict controls on the export of U.S. satellites and satellite components have drastically eroded U.S. manufacturers’ market share in the global satellite industry. On April 18, 2012, the U.S. Departments of State and Defense released the “1248 Report” containing findings related to reducing … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Grant DISH’s Wish

By Brian Weimer and Dan Brooks In a striking move by the FCC, the Commission has proposed to eliminate the ancillary terrestrial component ("ATC") rules from the 2 GHz Mobile Satellite Service ("MSS") band and repurpose the spectrum for pure terrestrial use (while retaining the mobile satellite allocation in the band). While the proposal is … Continue Reading
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