On January 4, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) setting forth proposed rules for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the 5030-5091 MHz band. At present, unmanned aircraft systems primarily operate under the FCC’s rules for unlicensed and low-power communications or according to experimental licenses. Neither of these spectrum resources provide the user with the right to protection from harmful interference, meaning that communications using such resources can be unreliable. The FCC’s proposed rules attempt to address this issue by granting unmanned aircraft systems access to licensed spectrum with the resilience to support more advanced and secure communications.

Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Opens Rulemaking on Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Licensed Spectrum

On November 30, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Draft NPRM”) that, if adopted, will seek comment on comprehensive changes to the Part 25 satellite and earth station licensing rules for the first time since 2015.[1] The Draft NPRM represents a significant step in the Commission’s efforts to facilitate innovation in the satellite industry, proposing changes that would facilitate greater expediency, flexibility, and curability in the licensing process. 

Continue Reading ALERT: Space Innovation Comes to Part 25 as the FCC Proposes New Reforms for its Satellite and Earth Station Licensing Rules

On November 3, 2022, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced plans to reorganize the International Bureau into a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. The changes are intended to help ensure FCC resources are aligned to meet the needs of FCC licensees and regulatees by “elevat[ing] the significance of satellite programs and policy within the agency to a level that reflects the importance of the emerging space economy.” 

Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Announces Plans to Create a Space Bureau

  • The FCC recently adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to display consumer-friendly “nutrition labels” allowing consumers to comparison shop for broadband services;
  • The FCC proposes that these nutrition labels display information about price, speed, data allowances, and other relevant aspects of the proposed broadband service; and
  • Following-up on its first hearing on these potential nutritional labels, the FCC will conduct a second hearing on April 7, 2022.


Continue Reading The Many Layered Flavors of Broadband – The FCC’s Proposed Broadband “Nutrition Labels”

Ukraine has suffered multiple internet and connectivity outages since the Russian invasion began.  Seeking to restore vital connectivity to his citizens in the face of the Russian military threat, Vice Prime Minster Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted at SpaceX CEO Elon Musk asking for help. After receiving what is arguably the first regulatory approval by Tweet, Musk and SpaceX responded by shipping the Starlink user terminals to Ukraine on March 1, 2022.[1]  The non-geostationary satellite orbit (“NGSO”) satellite broadband service now serves as a vital tool for connectivity where traditional terrestrial infrastructure fell short.[2]
Continue Reading Spacing Out for Resiliency – Why Satellite Technology is Vital to Resilient Networks

On May 26, 2021, a Sixth Circuit panel rejected challenges by numerous municipalities to a 2019 order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that most “in kind” (non-cash) contributions required by cable franchisees qualify as franchise fees subject to the federal Cable Act’s 5% cap.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Affirms FCC Rule That Most In Kind Contributions Are Franchise Fees

On August 12, 2020, a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed three orders issued in 2018 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promote infrastructure investment and broadband deployment, including 5G small cell nodes.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenges to FCC’s One-Touch Make-Ready, Small Cell Deployment, and Local Moratoria Orders

On Friday, February 1, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held a marathon oral argument in Mozilla Corp. v. FCC, No. 18-1051 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 22, 2018), in which various petitioners challenged the Federal Communications Commission’s (“Commission’s”) 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (“2018 Order”).
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge To Federal Communications Commission’s 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order

During its most recent Term, the Supreme Court held in Lucia v. SEC that the administrative law judges (“ALJs”) that preside over adjudications at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are “Officers of the United States” who must be appointed pursuant to the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. 138 S.Ct. 2044, 2055 (2018). This holding necessarily calls into question the validity of the appointments of ALJs across diverse federal administrative agencies and their rulings. In light of this anticipated fall out, the Trump Administration moved swiftly to issue an Executive Order retooling the hiring process for ALJs. But whether the Court’s holding in Lucia will impact adjudications before the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) remains to be seen.
Continue Reading Lucia Is Likely To Have Little Impact On Waning FCC Adjudications

As the Rolling Stones famously sing, “You can’t always get what you want.” And in the ever treacherous world of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq., the Second Circuit has ruled that means a party to contract cannot unilaterally revoke consent to receive automated calls.
Continue Reading You Can’t Always Get What You Want—Second Circuit Affirms Parties Can Bargain Away TCPA Right To Revoke Consent To Automated Calls