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Category Archives: Telecommunications

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D.C. Circuit Extends Stay in Battle Over Access to Content Companies’ Confidential Information

Posted in Telecommunications

By Nicholas Dashman This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a stay of an FCC order that would have made hundreds of thousands of pages of highly confidential unredacted programming distribution and negotiation strategy documents available for inspection by third parties.  The disclosure of these materials would have occurred as… Continue Reading

FCC Issues “Enforcement Advisory” Warning Political Campaigns and Promoters Against Robocall Abuse

Posted in Telecommunications

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau issued an advisory reminding political campaigns about the restrictions placed on the use of autodialed calls, prerecorded calls, and text messages by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and the FCC’s corresponding rules.  The Enforcement Bureau warns that it is “closely monitoring this space” and will “rigorously enforce… Continue Reading

Annual FCC CPNI Certification Due by March 1

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Enforcement Bureau issued a reminder that annual CPNI certifications for calendar year 2013 must be filed with the FCC by March 1, 2014. The FCC requires telecommunications service providers (including paging providers, commercial mobile radio services providers, and calling card providers) and interconnected VoIP service providers to file an… Continue Reading

Court Strikes Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Path for Other Broadband Regulations

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Telecommunications

A federal appeals court struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in a Jan. 14 decision, ruling that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules improperly regulate broadband providers like “common carriers” — such as providers of traditional telephone service — even though the FCC has classified broadband providers as not subject… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New TCPA Rules

Posted in Telecommunications

Earlier today, the FCC placed on public notice two petitions requesting that the agency clarify or forbear from enforcing certain aspects of its new TCPA regulations that went into effect on October 16, 2013.  Those regulations, which we summarized here, created, among other things, a new “prior express written consent” requirement for the transmission of… Continue Reading

Petitions to Forbear or Clarify New FCC TCPA Rules Filed

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Earlier today, two entities — the Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) and a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers (“Coalition”) — filed petitions at the FCC asking the agency to stay and forbear from enforcing, or clarify, certain aspects of the “prior express written consent” requirement that went into effect yesterday for prerecorded calls to residential numbers and autodialed… Continue Reading

New Rules for Autodialed Promotional Text Messages and Prerecorded Call Programs Come Into Effect Oct. 16

Posted in Telecommunications

Last week, I spoke on a panel at the IAPP Privacy Academy about upcoming changes to FCC regulations governing the “prior express consent” requirement for, among other things, autodialed promotional text message and prerecorded call programs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  These changes will take effect next week, on October 16, 2013.  Some… Continue Reading

EU Telecoms Regulation Proposals: Part 3 – Promoting Growth

Posted in Telecommunications

Written by Ezra Steinhardt and Colin Warriner On 12 September, 2013, the European Commission formally adopted a proposal for a new Telecommunications Regulation (the “Regulation”).  The Regulation would, if enacted, reform the European Union’s telecommunication rules, including in areas such as net neutrality, spectrum allocation, roaming charges, and consumer rights in mobile and telecoms contracts. … Continue Reading

EU Telecoms Regulation Proposals: Part 2 – New Consumer Rights

Posted in Telecommunications

Written by Ezra Steinhardt and Colin Warriner On 12 September, 2013, the European Commission formally adopted a proposal for a new Telecommunications Regulation (the “Regulation”).  The Regulation would, if enacted, reform the European Union’s telecommunication rules, including in areas such as net neutrality, spectrum allocation, roaming charges, and consumer rights in mobile and telecoms contracts. … Continue Reading

New EU Telecoms Regulation Proposals: Analysis Part 1 – Net Neutrality

Posted in Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

Written by Ezra Steinhardt and Colin Warriner On 12 September, 2013, the European Commission formally adopted a proposal for a new Telecommunications Regulation (the “Regulation”).  The Regulation would, if enacted, reform the European Union’s telecommunication rules, including in areas such as net neutrality, spectrum allocation, roaming charges, and consumer rights in mobile and telecoms contracts.  The… Continue Reading

FTC, FCC Testify Before Senate On Robocall Fraud

Posted in Telecommunications, Uncategorized

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance held a hearing entitled, “Stopping Fraudulent Robocall Scams: Can More Be Done?”   The hearing takes place two weeks after the FTC celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the its implementation of the Do Not Call Registry and on the heels of the FTC’s recent… Continue Reading

FCC: Customer Data Carriers Obtain Through Mobile Devices Subject to Existing Privacy Rules

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service with access to certain kinds of customer information collected through mobile devices are subject to existing privacy rules governing their use and disclosure of that information, the Federal Communications Commission announced in a declaratory ruling adopted at its June 27 meeting.  Significantly, the decision makes clear that… Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Draws Criticism on Band Plan Proposals

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

A joint statement released today by AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters, and Verizon criticized the FCC for seeking comments on new proposals for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters, which the statement said would go against the “growing consensus” of the broadcast and wireless industries.

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

A seller who authorizes a third-party telemarketer to market the seller’s goods or services may be held vicariously liable if the telemarketer violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission held in a May 9 declaratory ruling. The FCC’s ruling interprets two subsections of the TCPA. The first subsection — 47 U.S.C…. Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Considers Alternative Band Plans for Post-Incentive Auction Spectrum

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

In a Public Notice released yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission asked for comments on several possible plans for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters. Initial comments are due June 14, with reply comments due June 28. Under a statute passed last year, broadcast television stations will be allowed to voluntarily participate in an… Continue Reading

Leadership Changes at the Federal Communications Commission

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Telecommunications

Change is in the air at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The agency’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced yesterday that he will be stepping down on Friday, May 17.  (He had announced his plans to leave the FCC in March, but the date of his departure has been uncertain since then.)  Until his successor is confirmed… Continue Reading

FCC Sanctions Toll-Free Number Broker

Posted in Telecommunications

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed down a $240,000 forfeiture order against IT Connect, Inc., a company that the FCC found had violated the prohibition on brokering toll-free telephone numbers.  In its order, the FCC confirmed that it is unlawful for private entities to sell toll-free numbers for a fee, and it applied the… Continue Reading

BYOD’s Rapid Growth Presents New Legal Challenges

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Telecommunications

Companies are increasingly allowing employees to access work email and apps on their personal devices, according to a new Gartner survey of chief information officers. But employers confront many tough policy and legal questions when they adopt Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) programs. Thirty-eight percent of the CIOs said that their organizations will stop providing… Continue Reading

ZTE Signs Android Licensing Deal With Microsoft

Posted in Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Transactions

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a deal with ZTE under which ZTE will license Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for use in cell phones, tablet computers, and other devices running the Android and Chrome operating systems.  Although the terms of the ZTE deal were not released, Microsoft’s agreements with other device manufacturers have required a royalty payment… Continue Reading

FCC Cracks Down For First Time on Mobile Jamming Device Use; Fines in the Six Figures

Posted in Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

Last week, the FCC for the first time proposed to fine companies for using mobile phone signal jamming devices.  The FCC found that two entities, Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing, Inc. and The Supply Room, Inc., willfully and repeatedly imported and operated multiple illegal mobile phone signal jammers in the U.S.  Although the FCC in the past… Continue Reading

Apple Changes Warranty Policy in China Following State Media Attacks

Posted in Social Media, Spectrum & Mobile, Telecommunications

By Joanne Sum-Ping with research assistance by Susan Shao After enduring weeks of attacks from Chinese state-owned media, Apple has announced a change in its warranty policy in China.  The attacks began on March 15 when China Central Television (CCTV) criticized Apple’s customer service policies during a special program observing World Consumer Rights Day.  CCTV’s… Continue Reading