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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: Communications

#Ad and the challenges of native advertising and social influencers

Westminster Media Forum recently hosted a seminar to discuss native advertising and social influencer marketing and their measurement, regulation and impact on brands. Industry insiders, advertising agencies, content producers, publishers, influencers and regulators joined forces to discuss the challenges faced by these new models of advertising. Central to these latest trends is the shift in

FCC Proposes Increased Service Obligations on Wireless Licensees Seeking Renewal

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a draft Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on renewal requirements and permanent discontinuance rules for a variety of wireless services.[1]  The Draft Further Notice proposes new rules—such as additional renewal term construction obligations to enhance rural build-out—that, if adopted, would have far-reaching implications

¡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 Considers Whether Title II Protections Apply to SMS Traffic

In a recent Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) sought comment on a Petition filed by Twilio Inc. (“Twilio”) requesting clarification that short message service (“SMS”) messages are regulated under Title II of the Communications Act.  The regulatory treatment of SMS messages has come to a head because of the FCC’s recent reclassification of

U.S. FCC Decision Triggers Potential Sea Change in Broadband ISP Data Privacy and Security Requirements

In its recent Open Internet Order (“Order”), the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) determined that broadband Internet access services are appropriately classified as common carrier “telecommunications services” under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  In doing so, the agency established itself as the primary U.S. data privacy and security regulator for those services and triggered additional

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

AWS-3 Auction Ownership Information

Last week, the Commission released the list of 80 applicants for the AWS-3 Auction, scheduled to begin November 13. From the names of the applicants, it is not always easy to tell what major telecom or investment companies have interests in the applicants. We have done the hard work for you, reviewing the ownership disclosures

TCPA Alert

Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227, with the intention of protecting consumers from unwanted calls, text messages, and faxes. There has been a significant increase in the number of TCPA claims and enforcement actions filed in recent years, and yet there remain many unsettled legal questions. Read More: TCPA

Global Media and Communications Quarterly

The latest edition of our Global Media and Communications Quarterly issue focuses on the sheer breadth of human ingenuity – a characteristic that’s good for lawyers and businesses alike. Topics in this newsletter include: Preparing for the swarm: Ensuring our airwaves and airspace can accommodate transformational drone technology Wireless Medical Body Area Networks: Opportunity in

Sequestration Could Potentially Delay Telecom Deals and Slow Smartphone Offerings, But Should Not Affect Phone Subsidy and Auction Programs

When last year’s “supercommittee” failed to reach consensus on a plan to reduce the deficit, it set in motion $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending cuts for 2013. If Congress does not act to prevent this “sequestration” by January 2, 2013, the budget axe will fall across virtually every element of the US government.

New technologies, new risks: An update on recent TCPA developments that could require companies to reassess their outbound communications policies

Michele Farquhar, a partner in the Communications Practice in Washington, D.C., and Mark Brennan, an associate in the same group, recently coauthored an article on the litigation risks companies face under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for InsideCounsel.com. They discuss the regulatory pitfalls companies should be aware of if they contact their customers. Click here to

Superstorm Sandy Foreshadows a New Paradigm for Protecting Critical Communications and Electric Infrastructure

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy sent a fourteen-foot storm surge through New York City. Winds ravaged aerial infrastructure and water cascaded through subway tunnels and utility conduit systems, leading to a series of power station failures that left Wall Street and the rest of Manhattan below 34th Street without electrical power and with only

Net Neutrality: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Dan Brenner, a partner in the Communications Practice in Washington, D.C., recently authored an article on Net Neutrality for Forbes.com.  He discusses  the political debate surrounding Net Neutrality as both parties have included the issue in their party platforms.  Click here to read the full article.  

FCC Report Finds that U.S. Wireline Broadband Networks are as Fast and Good as Advertised

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its second annual Report on Consumer Wireline Broadband Performance in the U.S. (Report).  Chock full of jargon, “net-speak,” and charts and figures galore (38 of them), the 54-page report is remarkably readable and informative. The tests conducted in April 2012 (by the UK-based firm SamKnows) were intended to gauge

FCC Proposes Changes on How to Pay for Universal Service as Program Shifts to Broadband

How telephone companies and others contribute to the multi-billion dollar Universal Service Fund (“USF”) is going to change, and comments regarding the proposed new rules are due by July 9, 2012.  The FCC proposed changes that could expand the pool of services that have to contribute to USF, which subsidizes communications services for high-cost rural