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.”
On June 13, 2022, the FCC provided notice that the State of Florida has become the 24th state (including the District of Columbia) to certify state-level regulatory jurisdiction over rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments. …
- 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.
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. The non-geostationary satellite orbit (“NGSO”) satellite broadband service now serves as a vital tool for connectivity where traditional terrestrial infrastructure fell short. …
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
At the end of March, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai branded April “Infrastructure Month.” He paired this declaration with the announcement of a comprehensive agenda aimed at tackling a host of infrastructure-related challenges seen as critical to the deployment of high-speed broadband Internet access and bridging the digital divide. The FCC implemented the first steps of the Chairman’s infrastructure agenda yesterday, adopting proposed rulemakings intended to decrease regulatory barriers confronted by wireline and wireless providers seeking to deploy and operate broadband networks.
Continue Reading FCC Vows It’s Never Gonna Give Up On Bridging Digital Divide: Opens Rulemakings To Promote Access To Broadband Infrastructure
Last Thursday, in a vote split along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) approved a new regulatory regime staking its claim to privacy regulation of both fixed and mobile Internet service providers (“ISPs”) like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. The FCC’s rules follow its decision in the Open Internet Order, released last year and analyzed here, to classify broadband Internet access service as a common-carrier telecommunications service. The FCC’s new rules are intended to give consumers control over the ways in which ISPs use and share their customers’ private information. While the FCC has yet to release its Report and Order, the FCC’s Fact Sheet and statements by the commissioners indicate that the new privacy rules in many respects track the proposed rules the FCC put forward earlier this year, which seek to make the FCC the “toughest” privacy regulator in the Internet ecosystem by imposing on ISPs significantly more onerous and restrictive requirements for use and collection of consumer data than the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) imposes on its non-ISP competitors.
Continue Reading FCC Issues New Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers: Safeguarding Consumers or Lulling Them Into A False Sense of Privacy?