Archives: Telecommunications

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Net Neutrality and Zero-Rating Webinar

Date: Monday, November 20, 2017 4 p.m. CET 3 p.m. GMT 10 a.m. EST Please join us for a webinar dedicated to net neutrality and zero-rating. This presentation will be hosted by Covington lawyers Matt DelNero from our Washington office, and Kevin Coates and Siobhan Kahmann from our London/Brussels offices. This introductory webinar will be … Continue Reading

Rules on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges Finally Adopted

On 27 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted the new Telecoms Single Market legislation without a number of proposed amendments relating to net neutrality.  As a result, while the Regulation requires Internet service providers (“ISPs”) to “treat all traffic equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender or receiver, content, application or service, … Continue Reading

FCC Releases NPRM Regarding STELAR’s Market Modification Provisions

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposes satellite television “market modification” rules to implement Section 102 of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR).  STELAR amends the Communications Act and the Copyright Act to give the FCC authority to modify … Continue Reading

AT&T Challenges FTC Jurisdiction Over Non-Common Carrier Activities of Common Carriers

As we previously reported, in October 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against AT&T in federal court alleging that AT&T’s “throttling” practices for mobile broadband subscribers who were “grandfathered” into the company’s unlimited mobile data plan were unfair and deceptive in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  On Monday, AT&T … Continue Reading

FCC Tentatively Concludes that Certain Online Video Distributors are MPVDs

On December 19, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) relating to the designation of certain online video programming distributors as “multichannel video programming distributors” (MVPDs) under the Communications Act.  This NPRM raises important and complex issues for the content community and has implications for other statutory regimes as well as existing program … Continue Reading

STELAR (STELA Reauthorization) Enacted

The STELA Reauthorization Act (“STELAR”) has been signed into law by the President.  STELAR extends the statutory copyright license for satellite carriage of distant signals for another five years (through December 31, 2019).  It also extends through January 1, 2020 the statutory good faith negotiation requirement imposed on broadcasters and MVPDs for retransmission consent negotiations.  … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.… Continue Reading

FCC Confirms That Sellers Can Be Liable for Telemarketer TCPA Violations

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

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

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

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
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