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Focus on Regulation

Category Archives: Technology, Media & Telecoms

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Hook Me Up: Established and Start-up Competitive Providers Find Common Ground Discussing Broadband Deployment Issues

Consumers today expect high-speed access to content, anytime, anywhere.  We often take for granted the ability to leave home, head to work, and travel to many cities, or even across the country, without losing the ability to access high-speed Internet service.  But in many cities, there is only one provider offering broadband Internet, and for

Regulate Frankenstein: the European Parliament calls for new rules for robots

When a parliamentary report cites Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in its recitals and proposes new regulation for robots with artificial intelligence (“AI”), one cannot be sure whether the 19th or the 21st century has inspired the legislator. Last week, the European Parliament took a step to introduce new regulation of robots in Europe. Declaring that the

Connected Cars are Coming. Quickly.

One of the highlights at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the parade of new connected vehicle technologies.  Automakers and their suppliers rolled out a number of innovative capabilities that promise to shape the next generation of driving, make transportation safer and more efficient, revitalize our cities, and reduce air pollution.  Often lost amidst

New Federal Law Prohibits Contracts With “Anti-Yelping” Provisions

Late last year, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”).   Intended to protect individuals who write unflattering online reviews of businesses, the CRFA voids contractual provisions in form contracts that: (1) prohibit non-disparagement; (2) impose liquidated damages or fines for posting disparaging reviews; or (3) exert control over the review through

Data Without Borders: Hogan Lovells Winnik Forum Addresses International Considerations for the Growth and Development of a Connected World

The Internet of Things (“IoT”) connects markets and supply chains around the world.  Industry, governments and consumers around the world are embracing IoT technologies to improve research and public policy, to accelerate service delivery and to monitor global development programs across healthcare, agriculture, natural resource management, climate, and energy sectors.  Industry experts project that between

Winnik Forum Panelists Explore Cybersecurity in the Connected World

Hogan Lovells’ Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum  explored how the Internet of Things (IoT) may continue to expand the scope of cybersecurity concerns.  Cybersecurity risks for the IoT were previously synonymous with enterprise products.  Now these risks extend to consumer devices, services and applications. According to cybersecurity leaders attending the forum, the IoT market

The IoT in the Real World: An Armchair Discussion with Stacey Higginbotham

Connected devices are everywhere and create a wealth of data.  How do we understand and use this data?  And how do we protect it against disclosure and attack?  With questions like these, Stacey Higginbotham, creator of the Internet of Things Podcast and the “Stacey Knows Things” newsletter, launched an “armchair discussion” about the Internet of

Brill Discusses Benefits and Challenges of IoT at Winnik Forum

Julie Brill, Hogan Lovells Partner and former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), delivered opening afternoon remarks at the Fifth Annual Winnik International Telecoms and Internet Forum: The Internet of Things: Legal Challenges and Opportunities.  Brill highlighted the “unquestionable” benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) while also stressing the considerable data security and

Ambassador Sepulveda Urges Technology Industry to Ensure the Security and Interoperability of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is “clearly a significant market,” according to Daniel Alejandro Sepulveda, Ambassador, Deputy Assistant Secretary and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in the Department of State.  In Sepulveda’s keynote remarks at the Hogan Lovells Fifth Annual Winnik International Telecoms & Internet

Court of Appeals Upholds FCC’s Open Internet Order

In a major victory for the Federal Communications Commission’s democratic majority, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order on June 14, 2016.  The 2-1 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals likely is not the last word on net neutrality because broadband service providers will

Quiet Down? US Examines Whether Too Much Noise from Modern-Day Products Might Pose a Risk to Wireless Communications

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is seeking updated information on how the increased adoption of radiofrequency energy-emitting devices is affecting the level of unwanted RF energy emitted from man-made sources (the “spectrum noise floor”).[1]  The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (“TAC”) has launched a technical inquiry to study changes to the spectrum noise floor over the

De-Regulating the Sharing Economy: European Commission Publishes Guidelines to Promote National Harmonization

Back in October 2015, as part of its Single Market Strategy, the European Commission declared that it would develop an agenda to encourage consumers, businesses and public authorities to engage confidently in the sharing economy (also known as the “collaborative economy”), where private individuals provide on-demand services to other people, without intermediaries. This peer-to-peer model

FCC Imposes $1.84 Million TCPA Penalty for Fax Advertisements

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently imposed a $1.84 million penalty for sending unsolicited fax advertisements.  According to the agency’s forfeiture order, Scott Malcolm, DSM Supply, LLC and Somaticare, LLC (the “DSM Parties”) sent 115 unsolicited fax advertisements to 26 consumers, primarily health care practitioners, in violation of the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)

FCC Workshop Reveals Secrets of 5G

The FCC held a Spectrum Frontiers and 5G Workshop last Thursday that Julius Knapp, Chief of the Office of Engineering & Technology, called a “landmark day” in wireless history.  He likened the event to a similar conference thirty years ago when the industry was transitioning from analog to digital technologies, now referred to as the

FCC Circulates Privacy Rulemaking and Announces Commission Vote

On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a highly anticipated broadband data privacy and security Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to the other Commissioners, slating the proposals for a full Commission vote at the agency’s March 31 Open Meeting.  The rules would apply to internet service providers (“ISPs”), but organizations throughout the

The FCC Holds Company Owner Liable for $3.4 Million Forfeiture

The FCC recently adopted an order that fined two companies, Calling 10, and Telseven, as well as the owner of both companies, Patrick Hines, $3.4 million for cramming, deceptive marketing practices, and failing to pay required fees.  The FCC concluded that Mr. Hines “personally participated” in the wrongdoing and formed “sham companies to facilitate the

Privacy, Security, and IoT Prominent Themes at Silicon Flatirons DBM Conference

On January 31, 2016, the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado hosted its annual Digital Broadband Migration Symposium. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Evolving Industry Structure of the Digital Broadband Landscape.” The two-day conference brought together an array of leaders from government, academia, and industry to examine the role of regulatory oversight, antitrust law, and intellectual property policy in regulating industry structure and to discuss what policy reforms may be appropriate for the constantly changing digital broadband environment.

FCC Harmonizes Pole Attachment Rates

The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) decision to further harmonize the rates that telecommunications and cable companies pay to attach to “utility” poles was recently published in the Federal Register.  Federal law limits how much pole owners can charge attachers by tying monthly rents to the cost of constructing and maintaining the poles.  These poles are

Sixth Circuit to Hear Oral Argument in Challenge to Municipal Broadband Rules

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument for March 17, 2016, in an important case regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) ability to preempt state laws that place restrictions on local municipalities’ ability to provide their own broadband networks.  Today, 20 states limit the ability of local governmental agencies, such as utilities

Supreme Court Decision in Gomez Shifts Attention Back to FCC TCPA Petitions

In January, the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 577 U.S. __ (2016), a significant case for companies defending against consumer and other class actions, including those based on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) – as well as for contractors working on behalf of the federal government.

¡Bienvenidos a Cuba! FCC Removes Cuba from its Exclusion List for International Section 214 Authorizations

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) adopted an Order making it easier for telecommunications providers to provide facilities-based services such as undersea submarine cables and satellite services, between the United States and Cuba. As Focus on Regulation previously noted, in December 2014 the Obama Administration took executive action to ease trade sanctions and

DoD Amends its DFARS Safeguarding and Cyber Incident Reporting Requirements with a Second Interim Rule

On December 30, 2015, effective upon publication, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) published a three-page interim rule revising its earlier August 2015 interim rule on Safeguarding Covered Defense Information. 80 Fed. Reg. 81,472 (Dec. 30, 2015), available here. See our previous analysis of the original August 26 rule here. Comments on this new interim rule

FCC Launches Redesigned Website; Consumers and Practitioners Rejoice

On Thursday, December 9, the FCC launched its redesigned website, and it is a great improvement over the last incarnation. The FCC website serves two primary purposes.  It is 1) a portal for consumers, companies, legal practitioners, and other stakeholders to interact with the FCC electronically; and 2) a phone book.  The previous website frustrated