Regulatory Advocacy & Compliance

Although it could be said that the FCC’s recent focus has been firmly fixed on the future, in particular IP-based communications (see, e.g., high-visibility proceedings involving the Open Internet, possible merger conditions in the Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger, the ongoing TDM to IP transitions, and the $44 billion (and counting) of bidding in the AWS-3 auction), in November the FCC proposed regulations to ensure that the transition to this IP-based world does not betray core values of the Communications Act:  public safety, consumer protection, and competition.[1]
Continue Reading Headin’ Down the Copperhead Road – the FCC Proposes New Rules for Legacy Infrastructure

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 some of those controls. The 1248 Report assesses the national security risks of removing certain satellites and related components from the tightly controlled United States Munitions List (USML) and transferring them to the generally less restrictive Commerce Control List (CCL). The report concludes that most communications satellites, lower-performing remote sensing satellites, and related components could be transferred from the USML to the CCL without harming U.S. national security. The transfer of these items to the CCL could greatly benefit the U.S. satellite industry by significantly easing the export controls placed on its products.


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

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to regulate Internet service providers’ network management practices.  The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel immediately throws into question the FCC’s ability to require Internet providers to treat all network traffic equally (a concept known as "net neutrality"). The ruling may also hinder the FCC’s efforts to move forward with key aspects of its National Broadband Plan for expanding high-speed Internet service nationwide. 


Continue Reading FCC Loses Net Neutrality Suit

In its latest move in the "net neutrality" debate, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in late October 2009 that breaks from the FCC’s historically restrained approach to Internet regulation and proposes a host of new prohibitions and requirements on broadband providers. While some have praised the move as a necessary means to ensure continuing investment in innovative content and competition in the Internet access market, others have argued that formal regulation will discourage broadband providers from investing in infrastructure, stifle broadband-related job creation, and lead to congested, slow-moving networks. In addition, some opponents of the move have questioned whether the FCC even possesses the legal authority to regulate Internet network management.
 


Continue Reading FCC Initiates Net Neutrality Rulemaking