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Category Archives: Communications

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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

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

FCC Implements Additional Accessibility Requirements for Navigation Devices and Digital Apparatus

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its second order (“Second CVAA Order”) further implementing the accessibility goals established in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”) passed by Congress in 2010.  The Second CVAA Order, which builds on the FCC’s 2013 order (“First CVAA Order”), imposes new requirements on multichannel video

FCC Releases Waiver Order and Two Declaratory Rulings on TCPA Fax Rules

Today the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released three Orders relating to the fax requirements under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”). Under the TCPA, it is unlawful for a person to use a fax machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone fax machine unless there is an established

FCC Clarifies TCPA Requirements, Creating New Burdens on Callers

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Declaratory Ruling and Order clarifying a number of unsettled issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The decision, which has not yet been released, is in response to more than twenty petitions seeking clarification.  The vote was 3-2 along party lines and is expected to have

Government Contractor Asks U.S. Supreme Court for TCPA Relief Through Derivative Sovereign Immunity

Highlighting the intersection between government contracts, communications privacy, and class action litigation, the United States Supreme Court recently received a petition for a writ of certiorari asking it to rule on whether derivative sovereign immunity should be extended to a government contractor’s violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The Petitioner, Campbell-Ewald Co., was

Three Trends that May Change the Way You Think About the “Internet of Things” – Lessons from the Winnik Forum

New charging technology and more sophisticated power use are among the major new trends remaking the face of the Internet of Things, according to Aryeh Fishman, Associate General Counsel of Edison Electric Institute.  Fishman’s remarks came as leading experts in telecommunications law and policy and industry executives gathered at the Hogan Lovells 2014 Winnik International

Industry Recommends Market Solutions for Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Law Enforcement Access Challenges for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things raises new concerns about privacy, security and law enforcement access.  Rather than develop new rules for new devices, industry experts convened during the 2014 Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum recommended allowing the market to try solve these challenges before the government steps in. In May 2014, the President’s Council of

Winnik Forum: U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Chief Engineer Explains that Flexible Use Spectrum Policy Will Readily Accommodate the Internet of Things

During the 2014 Winnik Forum, Julius Knapp, Chief of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Office of Engineering and Technology, rejected proposals to dedicate spectrum bands exclusively to Internet of Things applications.  According to Knapp, the FCC’s current “flexible use” rules for licensed and unlicensed spectrum can accommodate varied and yet-to-be-imagined applications, “negat[ing] the need

Winnik Forum – Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen Keynote Address

As the keynote speaker for the Winnik Forum, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen sat down with Chris Wolf, Director of Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Information Management Practice to discuss the evolving role of the FTC as we enter an era of “Big Data” and the “Internet of Things.”  Commissioner Ohlhausen offered her

Winnik Forum: Drafting Legislation for the Internet of Things

One of the challenges facing regulators as they craft rules to govern the Internet of Things is that traditional industry silos that were the basis for past legislation may no longer apply.  As part of the 2014 Winnik Forum, Hogan Lovells’ partners Michele Farquhar and Trey Hanbury joined two senior staff members from the U.S.

FCC Chairman Proposes to Extend Video Programming Rights to Over-the-Top Video Providers

On October 28, 2014, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he is proposing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to extend legacy cable program access and broadcast retransmission rights to the over-the-top (“OTT”) video market.  Chairman Wheeler explained that such regulations are necessary to ensure the availability of cable and television broadcast

Winnik Forum: Key Insights on the Internet of Things

At the 2014 Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum: the Internet of Things, a wide range of policymakers, companies and other experts spoke on a variety of issues relating to the growing ability of everyday devices to wirelessly communicate with people and with each other. In particular, speakers suggested five main insights into the future

U.S. Regulator Announces $10 Million Proposed Forfeiture Over Data Security Practices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing a $10 million penalty against TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. for allegedly violating laws protecting consumers’ personal information.  Specifically, the FCC alleged that the companies placed the personal data of up to 300,000 consumers at risk by storing Social Security numbers,

Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum

Please join us for the third annual Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum, which will be held on 22 October 2014 at Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C. office. This forum brings together professionals from around the world for an afternoon of high-level discussion on current topics in international telecoms, media, and the Internet landscape. Please register using