Post-Election Outlook: A New, Unpredictable World
Authors: Andrew Caplan, James V. Dick, Alvin Dunn, Emily B. Erlingsson, Brian E. Finch, Nancy A. Fischer, Aimee P. Ghosh, Sheila McCafferty Harvey, Gerry Hinkley, Aaron R. Hutman, John E. Jensen, Julia E. Judish, The Honorable Gregory H. Laughlin, Christopher J. McNevin, Elizabeth Vella Moeller, Matthew Oresman, Glenn S. Richards, Michael R. Rizzo, Craig J. Saperstein, John Scalia, Michael L. Sibarium, Mercedes K. Tunstall, Christopher R. Wall, Graham G. Wisner
In a shock to investors and political analysts around the world, Donald J. Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, putting the Republican Party in charge of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade. Even though the voting has ended, the rancor in Washington and across the country over specific issues will only grow, including disputes within the Republican Party itself, as well as between the so-called “establishment” and those who want to pursue radical change, whether on the Left or Right. President-elect Trump ran as an anti-establishment candidate supported by a large portion of Americans, many of whom traditionally did not vote Republican, and who are angry at a political system they see as no longer serving their needs. President-elect Trump promised bold, often controversial, reforms. The details of these reforms and whether they will be supported in Congress are still developing.
New FCC Privacy Rules for Broadband and Voice Providers
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Deborah S. Thoren-Peden
In an order issued November 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission for the first time imposed privacy requirements on providers of broadband internet access services (“BIAS”). The much-anticipated order was an outgrowth of the FCC’s 2015 decision to reclassify BIAS as a telecommunications service and wrested jurisdiction from the Federal Trade Commission. The rules will also apply to voice service providers (including VoIP, wireless and wireline); replacing longstanding rules.
NTIA Rulemaking Seeks Comments on Government Role in IoT
Authors: Aimee P. Ghosh, Sheila McCafferty Harvey, Glenn S. Richards, Brian M. Wong
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the Department of Commerce, is seeking public comment on the benefits, challenges and potential roles for the government in fostering the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT). According to NTIA, the Internet of Things describes the connection of physical objects, infrastructure and environments to various identifiers, sensors, networks and/or computing capability. Today, there are an estimated 25 billion connected devices, including connected cars and medical devices, as well as smart cities, refrigerators and heating systems.
The Robocalls and Class Actions Continue as FCC’s Omnibus TCPA Ruling Fails to Slow Surge of Lawsuits
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Lauren Lynch Flick, Andrew D. Bluth, Amy L. Pierce, Derek M. Mayor
In the face of ongoing uncertainty regarding permissible uses of modern telephone equipment under the TCPA, lawsuits and important precedents continue to pile up.
FCC Expands Reach of Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Lauren Lynch Flick, Andrew D. Bluth, Amy L. Pierce
On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued the agency’s long-awaited omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order. The Ruling focuses largely on providing guidance, particularly for new and emerging technologies, with regard to what an autodialer is and when consent to use one is needed. The Ruling skews heavily on the side of protecting consumers from potentially unwanted calls while allowing some conditional exceptions for certain calls that may be beneficial to consumers. All businesses should immediately reevaluate their calling practices to ensure compliance with the new Ruling, as it is likely to escalate the continued upward trend in TCPA class action filings. Finally, the Ruling establishes that telecommunications providers can implement blocking technology. Therefore, all businesses should be alert to the potential for their calls to be blocked, including by error.
FCC Commences E-Rate Program Overhaul
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Christine A. Reilly
The August 20, 2013 Federal Register (“FedReg”) included a notice officially establishing the comment and reply cycle associated with the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or “Commission”) recently released Modernizing the E-Rate Program for Schools and Libraries Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”).1 According to the FedReg notice, comments are due September 16, 2013 and reply comments are due October 16, 2013. This is the Commission’s latest effort to modernize and streamline the E-Rate program.
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Christine A. Reilly
The Commission's Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 Initiates a Two-Year Deadline for Providers of Advanced Communications Services and Manufacturers of Equipment Used in Advanced Communications Services to Comply with Disabilities Access Requirements.
FCC Seeks Industry and Tribal Input on New Programs to Fund Rural and Tribal Health Care Broadband Services
Authors: Gerry Hinkley, Glenn S. Richards, Lauren Lynch Flick
Under pending proposals, many more health care organizations would be eligible for funds from a total allotment of $400 million per year. Comments are due 30 days from Federal Register publication.
FCC Shifts Net Neutrality Debate into High Gear
Authors: John K. Hane, Glenn S. Richards
Last week the FCC launched a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to adopt six “open Internet” rules that would bind all broadband access providers, including those providing mobile and satellite broadband services. If adopted, the rules could have pervasive and lasting effects in many industry sectors, including broadband, voice and video service providers, infrastructure, device, chipset and other component vendors, content publishers and distributors, software publishers, and application service providers.
President Obama Signs American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Providing $7.2 Billion for Broadband Initiatives
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, Craig J. Saperstein
Economic stimulus bill establishes two targeted programs to increase broadband penetration throughout the country.
On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Act"), which had been passed by Congress on February 13. This legislation, commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill, authorizes $7.2 billion in funding to accelerate the penetration of broadband technologies throughout the country. The authorization of specific funding for these purposes represents a significant business opportunity for the communications industry.
Authors: Glenn S. Richards
- FCC Form 499-Q is Due by February 1, 2009
- Customer Proprietary Network Information Certification is Due by March 1, 2009
FCC Universal Service Fund Proceeding Expected to Impact Telecom Charges for End Users; New Reply Comment Date Established
Author: Glenn S. Richards
On December 2, 2008, the FCC extended the reply comment date in its sweeping Universal Service Fund (“USF”) Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “FNPRM”) until December 22, 2008. USF is an almost $7 billion program overseen by the FCC that promotes the availability of affordable telecommunications services throughout the United States. Funds are made available to schools and libraries, low-income residential consumers and telephone companies operating in high cost areas.
FCC Imposes Additional Requirements Intended to Protect Customer Proprietary Network Information
Source: Privacy and Data Security Law Journal
Author: Glenn S. Richards
Injunction Brings VoIP Patent Litigation to the Forefront
Authors: Glenn S. Richards, James G. Gatto, Fred T. Grasso