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Tag Archives: FCC

FCC Announces Participants in Auction 103

In a Public Notice released October 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the status of the 39 short-form applications for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. Auction 103 will offer 14,144 licenses covering some 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz

California Enacts Another CCPA – Robocall Legislation

On October 2, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019 to address the rise in deceptive robocalls and protect California consumers from fraudulent calls. The law requires telecommunications service providers to implement Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) protocols by January 1, 2021.  These protocols are designed to attest to the authenticity of caller identification data and provide service providers with information to help ensure that calls are not spoofed.

U.S. Supreme Court Sidesteps Important TCPA Deference Issues

On June 20, 2019, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in PDR v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic.  The Court was expected to provide greater clarity about the extent to which litigants can challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) interpretations in private litigation.  Instead of deciding that issue, however, the

Update on FCC 5.9 GHz band rule-making

On May 14, 2019, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to open a rule-making to take a “fresh look” at the 5850-5925 megahertz (MHz) (5.9 gigahertz (GHz)) spectrum band. Initial reports suggested that the FCC would take the issue up in June, but the 5.9 GHz rule-making was not included on the

Commerce Secretary Ross to FCC: Overbroad TCPA Rules Could Have a “Devastating” Impact on Federal Agencies and the 2020 Census

As we head towards 2020, it’s time once again for the decennial U.S. national Census – one of the broadest data collections that the United States federal government undertakes to learn more about its citizens, recalibrate Congressional districts, allocate public funding, and deliver critical public services. But the government’s ability to conduct the upcoming Census

Eighth Circuit Finds that Bare “Technical Violations” of the TCPA Do Not Establish Standing

In St. Louis Heart Center v. Nomax, Inc., the Eighth Circuit held that an “alleged failure to provide a technically compliant opt-out notice” in a fax advertisement, without more, does not give a plaintiff Article III standing to bring a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim. The Eighth Circuit’s decision requires that the alleged injury

No Fly Zone: FCC Proposes $2.8 Million Penalty for Marketing Non-Compliant Drone AV Accessories

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to bring a $2.8 million penalty against HobbyKing for marketing drone-attachable audio/video (AV) transmitters that operate on unauthorized frequencies. For marketers and retailers of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and attachable devices, this penalty signals that the FCC is cracking down on the makers and marketers of noncompliant UAS and

FCC Seeks to Refresh the TCPA Record

Now that the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s highly anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is going back to the drawing board in a new Public Notice that seeks comment on foundational TCPA issues. In March, the D.C. Circuit struck down the

FCC set to initiate “small satellite” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On 27 March 2018, the FCC released a draft of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (which was adopted on 17 April 2018) seeking comments on proposals to streamline the licensing process for “small satellites,” more commonly known as “smallsats.” By initiating this proceeding, which has been long-anticipated by the smallsat community, the FCC will

D.C. Circuit Calls 2015 FCC TCPA Autodialer Decision “Utterly Unreasonable”; Strikes Down Reassigned Numbers Framework

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, a case involving multiple petitions for review of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) omnibus 2015 ruling interpreting provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the TCPA or Act).

FCC Avoids Shutdown For Now, But Continued Threat Looms Over TMT Sector

The federal government is open.  But less than three weeks remain under the current reprieve and another shutdown seems possible.  Although the Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand fees to support uninterrupted operations earlier this week, the FCC will start to run out of time – and money – if the stalemate over the budget continues

Ending the Twilight Saga: FCC Proposes Slashing Regulations to Speed Broadband Deployment

The FCC has proposed to exclude so-called “Twilight Towers” from routine historic preservation review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”) and its regulations.  Section 106 requires a federal agency to engage in a consultation process, which involves identification of a project’s adverse effects on historic and cultural properties and engagement with

FCC Commissioners Debate Adjustments to Merger Review Standard

In the first major transaction approval under Ajit Pai’s Chairmanship, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently approved, subject to targeted, transaction-specific conditions, license and authorization transfers in connection with CenturyLink’s $34 billion acquisition of Level 3.  The FCC’s recitation of its merger review standard in its order (the “CenturyLink-Level 3 Order”) differed somewhat from the description

Much-Needed TCPA Reform Would Support Small Businesses and Spur Economic Benefits

Growing evidence suggests that existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) compliance challenges, and the current TCPA litigation landscape, are increasingly a threat to many U.S. companies – particularly small businesses that have fewer resources and could face financial ruin if targeted by a class action lawsuit.  To help address this issue and support the U.S.

New Study Highlights Spike in TCPA Litigation Since 2015 FCC Decision

A new study has found that litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has increased 50 percent since the Federal Communications Commission released its July 2015 “Omnibus” Declaratory Ruling and Order, which had purported to clarify several issues around the agency’s TCPA rules.  As explained below, this continuing trend is one of many reasons

FCC Launches Proceeding to Examine 911 Capabilities of Enterprise-Based 911 Services on Multi-Line Telephone Systems

The FCC intends to launch a new proceeding to examine issues related to 911 capabilities of enterprise-based 911 services provided over multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) and IP-based systems (collectively referred to as “Enterprise Communications Systems” or “ECS”). Last week, the FCC released a draft Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) examining the 911 capabilities of MLTS and

FCC Proposes $82 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) imposing a $82 million penalty against Best Insurance Contracts (d/b/a Wilmington Insurance Quotes) and its owner/operator Philip Roesel for allegedly making more than 21 million prerecorded robocalls with illegally “spoofed” caller ID information in an attempt to sell health insurance.

FCC Extends TCPA Liability to Technology Platform Provider

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Forfeiture Order (“Order”) imposing a nearly $2.9 million penalty against Dialing Services, LLC (“Dialing Services”) for making prerecorded voice calls to wireless phones without the “prior express consent” of the called parties.  This Order is notable because the FCC targeted the technology platform provider rather than the

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

FCC Proposes Historic $120 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a historic $120 million fine against an individual, Mr. Adrian Abramovich, who reportedly made more than 100 million unlawful “spoofed” robocalls in violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act. On June 22, 2017, the Commission approved a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture finding Mr. Abramovich apparently liable

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

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