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Focus on Regulation

Category Archives: Technology, Media & Telecoms

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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

#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

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

Smallsat companies form trade association to address issues facing the smallsat community

At the annual Smallsat conference in Logan, Utah, the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) held its first meeting since legally forming earlier this month. A number of well-known smallsat operators and other companies have joined the organization, which seeks to advance a number of goals common to the smallsat community. These goals include creating

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

TCPA for the Boardroom – An Executive Focus

How do you protect your business from costly Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits and regulatory enforcement actions? In this webinar, we will focus on the key decisions facing company executives as they navigate TCPA risks and assess compliance strategies. Businesses must stay in touch with their customers and their partners in order to succeed. But

From Garage to Global Coverage: SmallSat Growth and Opportunities are the Focus of the 2017 SmallSat Symposium and CSSMA Meeting

At this year’s SmallSat Symposium in Silicon Valley, February 6-8, 2017, attendees exchanged perspectives on promoting innovation and development in the satellite industry, all surrounded by exhibits of the first computers and early innovators who paved the way.  Due to attendance twice as high as last year’s event, the SmallSat Symposium experienced a slight upgrade—the

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